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Ashtabula County woman shares story of coronavirus battle & recovery with Gov. DeWine

'I just wish people would be more mindful that this is really something real.'

COLUMBUS, Ohio — It can be disheartening to read the daily coronavirus case and death numbers in the state of Ohio, which is why it's important to remember there have been plenty of happy endings as well.

One of those uplifting stories comes from a woman named Stacey, who lives in Ashtabula County. She was first exposed to COVID-19 on March 8 (one day before Ohio confirmed its first three cases), and after testing positive eventually spent days on a ventilator in a medically-induced coma.

"Had there been about 10 or 20 patients flooded with what I had, I probably wouldn't have made it," Stacey remembers being told by a doctor.

Due to the work of medical professionals at University Hospitals Geneva Medical Center, Stacey survived, and on Monday got to share her story live via video chat at Gov. Mike DeWine's press conference. She thanked the governor and his administration for the actions they took to shut down the state at the outset of the pandemic, believing they saved her life and countless others.

"This is a very serious thing, and people need to know it," Stacey said. "I just wish people would be more mindful that this is really something real."

Stacey spent two months "flat on her back [and] paralyzed" from the effects of the disease, and is only just now starting to get around again without a walker. She calls the experience "profound" and says it took a great toll on her family, but continues to have confidence she will make a full recovery.

"They had me in rehab at the Hanna House [in Cleveland], and they said that I would be walking by the time I left there," she remembered. "I didn't believe it, but the staff there is so confident and amazing that they did have me walking and doing things for myself."

More than 28,000 Ohioans have been infected with the coronavirus, and more than 1,600 of those people have died.

Watch DeWine's full press conference in the player below:

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