Bettina Lerman was on life support at Maine Medical Center in a Covid-19 coma when she defied the odds and woke up. It was believed that the 69-year-old Florida native was not going to recover from the virus, and her family was getting ready to take her off life support. Then, on Oct. 29, Lerman woke from the coma on the same day her son was going to pull the plug.
According to Lerman’s son, Andrew Lerman, the Covid-19 patient contracted the virus in early September and was diagnosed when she went to the hospital on Sept. 12. On Sept. 21, the 69-year-old was put on a ventilator and was maintained through intensive care for over a month. The doctors told the family that she might not get better and the Lermans prepared for the worst.
“We had a family meeting with the hospital because my mother wasn’t waking up,” Andrew explained to CNN. “No matter what they (did), they couldn’t get her to wake up. They said that her lungs are completely destroyed. There’s irreversible damage — that it’s just not going to happen.”
It was believed that Bettina Lerman had reached “the end of the line,” according to her son. Andrew Lerman also explained that his mother, who turns 70 in February, was riddled with underlying health conditions, like diabetes. She also had a heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery a couple of years prior to her Covid-19 diagnosis.
Bettina Lerman had not gotten the Covid vaccine when she contracted the virus, but her son claimed she had planned on getting the shot before she got sick. After she was admitted to the hospital for her symptoms, though, it seemed too late.
Andrew Lerman explained that his mother’s condition deteriorated throughout late September and that the doctors had all but lost hope. Recovery seemed impossible and the Lerman family was ready to say goodbye. Bettina Lerman’s son went back down to Florida to tie up his mother’s loose ends, including canceling her lease and donating her items to a local senior community center.
Andrew Lerman was also planning to terminate life support the day he got the call from the doctor. “He’s like, ‘Well, I need you to come here right away.’ I was like, ‘OK, what’s wrong?’” Andrew told CNN. “He goes, ‘Well, there’s nothing wrong. Your mother woke up.’”
Bettina Lerman woke up from her Covid-19 coma unexpectedly. Her son was “completely beside [himself]” and “dropped the phone” when he heard the news. While the hospital could not release specific information regarding Lerman’s condition, it has been reported that the miraculous recovery is currently unexplainable.
“My mother is very religious and so are a lot of her friends, and church, and everything else and they’ve all been praying for her,” Andrew Lerman told CNN. “So they can’t explain it on the medical side. Maybe it’s on the religious side. I’m not that religious, but I’m starting to believe that there’s something that helped her. I don’t know.”
Andrew Lerman said that his mother “is a miracle,” explaining that she can now breathe all on her own for a few hours at a time with only some assistance from a CPAP machine. Bettina Lerman no longer needs a ventilator during the day, he said, but explained she still uses one to sleep at night.
While it’s unclear if Bettina Lerman will get the vaccine, Andrew Lerman claimed that getting vaccinated is “the right thing to do.” He explained that “if one of our family members gets [Covid-19] again, it won’t be that bad,” because they’ll have gotten the shot.
Andrew Lerman also admitted that “we give her words of encouragement every day. We tell her to keep on fighting.” His encouraging words are for more than just his mother. Andrew Lerman claimed that “the words of encouragement that I have is not to give up hope, and when you do visit your family members in this situation, talk to them because they can hear you.”
Andrew Lerman said he understands that not all Covid-19 patients are the same and that not all who suffer from the virus will make a miraculous recovery. But he added that no family should lose hope, even when all seems lost.
The incredible experience has resonated with others, too. The Lerman family created a GoFundMe page to help Bettina Lerman pay hospital bills and reduce the stress after she is relieved from the hospital. The GoFundMe page has since garnered over $4,000.
“My siblings and I are sharing our mom’s story… and to get her help after her Covid 19 diagnosis,” Andrew Lerman’s sister, Jennifer Miele shared on the GoFundMe page. She continued, claiming that Bettina Lerman “is a true prayer warrior.”
“During her medically induced coma during this time; she had two collapsed lumps and multiple Pneumonia spells,” the page continued. “During this trying time we went to her apartment in Florida and retrieved her most precious items like photos and things, then we had to let go of her apartment. [Due] to the fact doctors had told us to take mom off life support. As well as saying she was never going to medically survive or even wake up.”
“We also donated everything in her apartment for others in need at her senior community,” Jennifer Miele admitted. “We had already [gone] to the funeral home and was planning her funeral, with the little bit she had left.”
Bettina Lerman’s family asked for donations to help rebuild their mother’s life after she recovers.