BOSSIER CITY, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – On Tuesday the healthcare heroes at Willis-Knighton lined the halls of the hospital in Bossier City to celebrate the release of one of their own.
Nurse and patient safety officer Leigh White spent 11 days on a ventilator as she fought COVID-19. The virus had her on death’s doorstep before she battled back.
“Went in on a Sunday. I was in ICU by Wednesday and on the ventilator by Thursday,” said Leigh, describing how quickly coronavirus took hold of her life.
It’s changed the lives of her family just as fast.
“We had no clue that when she went to Quick Care on March 15th that we wouldn’t see her again until yesterday,” said her husband Shawn.
For three-and-half weeks the family waited and worried. Living without a mother. Without a wife.
For a week-and-a-half Leigh was on a ventilator fighting for her life, alone.
“That was the hardest part about being in the hospital, was the no visitors. And it’s really no human contact,” said Leigh. “I didn’t even have the basic human touch while I was in there. There were a couple of times on the ventilator that I really didn’t think I was going to pull through. I thought, ‘This is it.’ You know at least I know I’m going to heaven. [Lord] help Shawn take care of my kids. Because I really didn’t think I was going to make it.”
Her sons felt it too.
“It was a really scary time when mom was on the ventilator,” said son Jackson. “Because at that time no one had gotten off healthy.”
“At times I was super scared that my mom wasn’t going to make it and I really didn’t know how to feel about that,” said son Carter. “I didn’t know if I was supposed to be angry or upset, because it’s all just not usual. And it was so [odd] to all of us.”
But she took a breath. Then another. And yet another. Slowly she gained strength. Which ultimately led to the scene that played out at Willis-Knighton yesterday.
She won the fight. Leigh emerging a champion. She and her family thanking her co-worker and the lord for bringing her through.
“I sure didn’t know any of that was going to happen,” said Leigh about the surprise her co-workers gave her. “I cried the whole way to the car. You know it was just overwhelming. Everybody response has just been overwhelming.”
“We had faith through the whole thing,” said Jackson. “We knew God was going to pull through.”
His father also leaning on the Lord.
“I’ve never relied on God as much as I have during this whole thing. Never,” said Shawn. “And there was nothing I could do during this whole thing.”
The family now seeing their lives changed once again. This time for the better.
“I love her. I love my two boys too,” said Shawn. “And to have our family back together, it just seems right.”
During this entire ordeal Shawn also had coronavirus. His effects were much less significant than what Leigh experienced.
Leigh says she’s going to enjoy the spoiling from her guys until she gets back to full strength.
“Jackson, Carter and Shawn have waited on me hand and foot, and unfortunately they’re going to have to continue to do that a little while longer until I get stronger,” she said. “But just being able to come home was amazing.”