SWFL woman discharged after 140 days at hospital for COVID-19

Reporter: Taylor Smith Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
COVID-19 survivor Virginia Bennett. Credit: WINK News.

After 140 days in the hospital being treated for the coronavirus, a woman in Southwest Florida let out tears for a good reason — She was leaving.

Virigina Bennett recovered from COVID-19 at Landmark Hospital in North Naples and left the hospital for the first time Thursday after her almost five-month stay. She won’t be sleeping in a hospital bed anymore, and she credits a plasma donation for saving her life.

We first told you about Bennett in March, and we continued to check in with her and her family. She was once on a ventilator and had to overcome many obstacles to make her discharged from the hospital a reality.

“One-hundred-forty days in this place was more than some of the employees,” Bennett said.

Bennett was brought through the lobby of the Landmark Hospital with tears in her eyes, her departure an incredibly emotional moment.

“I’m feeling happy, except they made me cry happy,” Bennett said.

After contracting COVID-19 in March and being on a ventilator for 40 days, Bennett had to relearn how to use her body.

“She couldn’t move her neck, her arms, her legs,” said Jennifer Grytza, Bennett’s daughter. “She couldn’t do anything.”

After 140 days in the hospital, Bennett was finally able to leave to continue her recovery.

“Most of it I don’t remember when I first got here,” Bennett said. “But, as of July 1, I’ve been aware of what’s going on and what’s real and what was all a dream.”

Thousands of miles away, family from Ohio, Pennsylvania and Canada were on Facetime for their loved one’s special moment.

“I’m leaving now, kids,” Bennett told her family.

The first thing Bennett said passing through the hospital doors, “Wow it’s hot.”

Her son and daughter who were there with her every step of the way are thankful to see their mother conquer this virus.

“Everyone is excited about her going to rehab, and then her getting out of there and coming home,” said Jeff Bennett, Virginia’s son.

“She’s been through so much, and I just love her so much,” Grytza said. “And her will to live is amazing, and she is an inspiration to everyone.”

“Without all these people helping me, I don’t think I would have made it,” Grytza said.

Virginia says the first thing she wants to do is get her nails done. She will stay at a rehabilitation center for the next two weeks to a month.

“It feels awesome,” Bennett said. “I didn’t know how sick I was, and didn’t know how strong I am.”

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