'I feel very lucky': 84-year-old SF woman with underlying medical conditions shares message of hope after surviving COVID-19

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A Bay Area woman in her 80s beat the odds of the coronavirus.

Those odds were high, considering the fact that she had serious underlying medical issues, but now she's telling her story of hope.

84-year-old Doris Bloch from San Francisco is doing well, considering the wild month she had battling coronavirus.

"I feel very lucky, I feel like a dodged a bullet," said Bloch.

Bloch was admitted to UCSF Medical Center on March 14 with a fever, after falling outside her home.

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She got the diagnosis a day later.

"A doctor came in and said how do you feel about having coronavirus? I said I feel afraid. He said you're in good hands," Bloch added.

She was UCSF'S 10th patient with COVID-19 and the 39th confirmed case in San Francisco.

She was kept in isolation ward and never went to the ICU, but the odds were stacked against her.

"You have to understand, I'm an old lady with type two diabetes, a lung cancer survivor and asthma and I survived, there's hope," said Bloch.

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Daughter Lisa felt helpless and feared the worst.

"What I thought about the most was how parents and grandparents were dying alone in Italy because family couldn't visit," said Lisa Bloch.

A grim question from Doris' son helped her turn the corner.

"Are you dying mom? I said no, it helped me gain strength," Bloch said

Doctors can't say why some patients don't survive the virus but others like Doris do.

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"I've heard from colleagues, they have sent home older patients, we're really learning more day by day," said ABC7 Special Correspondent Alok Patel, MD.

Doris knows it's a time of great fear and sorrow.

"But this is also a time to find strength, and use that strength to see another day, it's wonderful to be alive," said Bloch.

Doris turns 85 next month.
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