EXCLUSIVE: Jacksonville mom with COVID-19 released from hospital after 97 days

‘Not many people went through what I went through and came out as good as I did’

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — It’s still hard for Misty Schmelzle to talk, walk, and use her hands and arms. But each day, she gets stronger.

“Not many people went through what I went through and came out as good as I did,” Schmelzle said.

A wife and mother of two, she caught COVID-19 last December. She was shocked when she caught it again in July. That time, she landed in Baptist Health’s ICU.

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She was there for 97 days and was on a ventilator for more than six weeks. Those were dark and scary times, but Schmelzle credits a team of doctors and nurses at Baptist. They became family when her own family couldn’t visit her.

“I had a great team at Baptist,” she said. “That group of people was absolutely amazing.”

After 80 days, Misty got to see her children once again.

“I had no voice, but I was just so happy to see my babies,” she said.

Now Misty is vaccinated, but she says her lungs are so scarred that she cannot catch COVID again.

Misty has a new outlook on life, and her faith is stronger than ever.

“Family and God is the only thing that’s getting me through it,” she added.

She has a long road ahead of her, but she knows she’s going to be just fine.

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Misty expects to be released from Brooks Rehab in the coming days, just in time for Christmas. She wants to thank everyone in the community and on social media for their prayers.