Tulare grandmother released from hospital after months-long battle with COVID-19

TULARE, Calif. -- A Tulare grandmother beat the odds and is finally back home after a 10-month battle against COVID-19, and doctors, nurses, and her loved ones describe her as a fighter.

Maria Ferrumpau spent most of 2021 in a hospital bed fighting her worst invisible enemy -- COVID 19.

Doctors say the 80-year-old is an anomaly - with her pre-existing health conditions, going home was unlikely. However, with her family by her side, she is back where she wants to be.

"We wanted her home," her granddaughter, Stephanie Ferrumpau said. "They didn't think it was possible and they pushed and pushed and pushed. They finally listened to us and they knew we were not going to go without a fight and with that fight, we brought her home."

Stephanie said her grandmother has many health issues - including a pacemaker, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

She was originally hospitalized in Hanford after she got sick in December, but was transferred to Sierra View Medical Center's Distinct Part/Skilled Nursing Facility in February.

During her 10 months away from home, she missed a lot.

"Not having her for the holidays, their anniversary and his birthday, everything like that and my daughter's second birthday. It's hard not having her there when she's been there my whole life," Stephanie said.

Due to COVID-19 visitation restrictions earlier this year, Ferrumpau's family had to visit her through a window.

Her granddaughter said, "Once they lifted the restrictions, once my grandpa was able to see her, touch her, talk to her, it's what cured her, basically, I would think."

Family members all got vaccinated so they could see her and protect themselves.

Dr. Kris Reddell is the is the Director of Nursing at the DP/SNF unit.

He said, "Being vaccinated right now becomes so key."

Sierra View Medical Center has received nearly 1,900 COVID patients since March of last year.

More than 200 did not make it back home.

Dr. Reddell said he not only credits his nursing staff, but also Maria's family with providing the type of medicine money can't buy.

"When the family was beginning to be there with many hours during the course of every day, I mean literally every day," Dr. Reddell said. "You could see it in her eyes, she'd perk up and she'd begin to heal so much faster."

Maria finally made it home two weeks ago.

Her loved ones say they are blessed and ready to make more memories this holiday season.

"Don't take your family for granted," Stephanie said.

Stephanie tells Action News they are already making plans for a big Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. In addition, they look forward to Maria cooking some of her traditional foods for the family.
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