NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 941,000 people in Tennessee have tested positive for COVID-19.
Amy Yang was one of the thousands in the state to catch the virus and go to the hospital. But her stay was a long one; she spent 180 days fighting for her life.
Yang didn’t think getting COVID-19 from her children would land her nearly six months in TriStar Centennial Medical Center.
"It kind of spread out pretty fast, everybody got sick," she said.
Yang says she and her family did everything right. They wore their masks, washed their hands and wiped and sprayed down every surface.
The kids were able to bounce back after getting sick. It wasn't the same for her.
"COVID is not something fun to play with. And I would recommend people to get vaccinated," Yang said.
She spent 146 days on ECMO -- a machine that replaces the function of the heart and lungs. Yang says many nights when she laid in her hospital bed, she says she didn't think she could make it.
"I was praying to God to just let me go, you know, don't let me suffer too much. Because suffering, I don't want my kids see me suffer," she said.
Yang says she also asked God if it's not her time to go then to please give her strength to live.
"I'm going to fight to the last breath for my kids, and for my husband, for my family, because the person that keeps me going is my granddaughter."
She says the prayers were answered through the support of her family and the staff at TriStar.
"Especially Miss Debbie and Miss Jamie. Both of them kept me going because they looked me in the eyes and say, you cannot give up, keep going, " said Yang.
Yang says she fought more than five months to get to today. "Today, I'm home with them so I’m very, very happy."
With so many people battling COVID-19 in hospitals across the country, Yang's message for them is to stay in the fight.
"You keep fighting you’ll make it make it home. I made it home, they will too," said Yang.
Yang is still recovering and uses an oxygen machine to help her breathe. She says her next mission is getting the family vaccinated.
When Yang was admitted, the country was just starting to see some relief at hospitals as slowly the number of patients dropped.
COVID-19 SURGES IN TENNESSEE
New research shows the rate of covid hospitalizations in Tennessee is higher now -- than at any point in the pandemic.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center released the data Thursday afternoon. Here are some key findings.
COVID hospitalizations have increased tenfold in just over a month, with the majority of cases among the unvaccinated.
Since last March, there have been more than 960-thousand reported cases in Tennessee -- that's about 14% of the population.
However, experts say the official count understates the true total number -- since not every positive case is detected or reported.
Another important note: new evidence suggests unvaccinated people who have had COVID before are two times as likely to get the Delta variant, than those who have been vaccinated.