Nursing student with asthma hospitalized for 3 months with COVID complications

Tanner Johnson
Posted at 4:46 PM, Mar 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-11 22:58:26-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A 21-year-old nursing student has been hospitalized for three months with complications from COVID-19.

Days after Tanner Johnson's 21st birthday, she got sick. Johnson said, "For the most part my asthma my whole life has been controlled, but covid definitely made an impact on that especially with my lungs."

Tanner's mom, LaShawn Johnson, credits the doctors and nurses in the COVID-19 ICU at TriStar Centennial Medical Center with saving her daughter's life. "They had told me early on, she’s young and we’re fighting for her... and they kept fighting for her," LaShawn Johnson said.

Tanner Johnson
Tanner Johnson fights for her life at TriStar Centennial Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Johnson said she had double pneumonia, she was on a ventilator at one point, and they tried out an ECMO machine too. Johnson said, "She was on that for 60 days because her lungs completely did not work."

She spent 80 days at Centennial, and then she was transferred to TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center for rehabilitation. "Our prayers have been answered, and family across the world, and friends and people we didn’t even know that have been praying and calling out the name Tanner," Johnson said.

It's taken an emotional toll, but Tanner's story is just beginning. Johnson said, "She can come home Saturday, it will have been 97 days. She’ll continue with outpatient rehab and follow-ups from there because she’s ready to go back to school in the fall, but we’ll finally get to have her home."

Tanner plans on going back to Lee University to finish nursing school, and she wants to warn young people about the dangers of COVID-19. Tanner said, "People are really losing their lives and thank God I was able to be on the other side of this." One day her goal is to help save lives like the nurses who helped save her life.

Tanner is about to clear another milestone. She gets her COVID-19 vaccine next week. If you have moderate to severe asthma, you are eligible to get vaccinated right now in Tennessee.