CHICAGO (CBS) — A young Alsip woman is sharing her story of surviving COVID-19. She knows it doesn’t discriminate when it comes to age. She wants her peers to know that, too, especially ones still gathering in big groups.
Jennifer Julian is shocked she even survived. The doctors and nurses told her it is a miracle that she is here right now. No one thought the day she was released from the hospital would even happen.
Jennifer Julian sobbed uncontrollably as she saw her father and he held her for the first time in three weeks, as home video of Julian’s release from OSF Healthcare Little Company of Mary Medical Center in Evergreen Park shows. She was released on April 11 after battling COVID-19.
In mid-March, Julian went to a gathering at a friend’s house to watch a movie.
“We were making even fun of the whole virus thing, like, ‘Yeah, we won’t get it,'” she said. “‘We’re young. We’re too young to even get it. If we do get it, it’s probably not a big deal.'”
A few days later, the 29 year-old learned she, along with four of her friends at the gathering, had COVID-19. Her symptoms started with GI problems, then things got worse, and she went to the hospital.
“A tube down my throat. I was in an induced coma and on a ventilator, for 10 days,” she said.
Then, her parents received devastating news.
“I had like some heart issues going on, and I might not make it,” she said. “It would be the last time they would see me, if they wanted to do a Zoom meeting, to see me for the last time.”
Julian has this message for her peers, who are in their 20’s and think COVID-19 can’t affect them:
“COVID-19 is real, and it’s a scary thing that’s going on right now. We all want to be safe and protect ourselves,” she said.
Julian said she embraces each moment in life, telling those close to her that she cares and loves them all the time because Covid-19 showed her tomorrow cannot be promised.