A SWFL woman’s family very thankful this year after she survived COVID-19

Virginia Bennett is thankful for life itself this Thanksgiving after she was hospitalized with coronavirus.

Every day is Thanksgiving for Bennett because she beat the odds and made it home. “I survived,” said Virginia.

Eight months ago her family hoped and prayed Virginia would make it to this day and feared the worst. She contracted COVID-19, got very sick, and went to the hospital where she was put on ventilators.

For 40 days and 40 nights she fought for her life and eventually got off that ventilator. But, she spent months in the hospital recovering.

She got a standing ovation when she finally was allowed to go home. “They said I wouldn’t walk again,” said Bennett. “I cry whenever I talk about it,” she said tearing up.

Now the former line dancer is standing on her own two feet and putting the past behind her. “I’ve been doing great. I’m walking, my voice is still a little strained,” Virginia said.

Virginia’s daughter Jennifer Grytza said that Thanksgiving means so much more to her this year. It’s yet another day to appreciate her mom’s presence. “So thankful. I can’t even put into words what it’s like to have her back. It’s almost like bonus time now if you wanna call it that,” said Grytza.

Bennett’s struggle even separated her from her boyfriend. John Bigras wasn’t even allowed to visit her in the hospital. Now, he refuses to leave her side. “I’m here now to take care of her to make sure she’s not doing things she shouldn’t be doing,” said Bigras.

This year John’s making the turkey. “John’s cooking the turkey,” said Bennett.

John and Virginia are grateful that they get to laugh together and look forward to what’s next for them.

“Glad to be alive,” Virginia said.

Virginia says her Thanksgiving dinner will be on the smaller side and taking as many precautions as possible, including having her turkey outside.

Reporter:Brea Hollingsworth
Writer:Drew Hill
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