Arkansas Woman Battling COVID-19 With Only Hours To Live Miraculously Wakes Up

Rhonda Withem

Rhonda Withem, 62, had tested positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 7 and she was close to death a month later

An Arkansas family waiting to say their final goodbyes to their mother who had been battling COVID-19 witnessed a miracle when their mom suddenly “waved” and “smiled” —  after doctors said she only had a few hours to live once taken off the ventilator. 

“When they pulled everything off, she started waking up and saw my sister and [was] raising her hand to wave at us,” Nicole Brewer told CNN about her mother Rhonda Withem, 62. 

“My family has seen a miracle … and it is just all the glory and everything to god,” said Withem’s other daughter, Rebekah Goshien told CNN. 

November 7 was the day Withem tested positive for COVID-19. She had symptoms of headaches, congestion, and coughing and stayed home to quarantine. However, a week later as her condition grew worse she was hospitalized and then put on a ventilator. 

Brewer said that doctors told her that her mother would not be able to breathe again on her and once the ventilator was removed, she would most likely live only a few hours, KVIA-News reported.

Family members heartbroken gathered outside Withem’s room at the Saline Memorial Hospital in Benton, Arkansas watching through a glass door on November 29, as hospital personnel stood by. According to CNN, the family made the most difficult of decisions to take their mother off the ventilator due to the grim diagnosis they were given.

Suddenly, Withem began to show some miraculous signs —movement and facial expressions — and the overjoyed family continued to pray that their mother's health would continue to improve. And it slowly did.

Goshien told CNN that her mother had gotten strong enough to be moved from the ICU into a regular COVID-19 room and is now in a rehabilitation center. Goshien whose birthday was on December 10, got the best gift she could have ever asked for. 

“I was the first one who got to go see her," said Goshien, "so that was a good birthday present for me."

Since Withem is only allowed one visitor per day, both of her daughters take turns visiting her. In the meantime, the family has set up a GoFundMe account so others can help the family pay Withem's medical bills and other expenses

Goshien said her mother is improving each day. Some of the progress she has made include being able to push herself around in a wheelchair. Standing up during her regular therapy sessions, and being able to FaceTime with her daughters and grandchildren, and even do word search puzzles.

Withem is expected to complete rehab on December 26, King5 News reported. 

The family told others who may have a family member suffering from COVID-19 not to give up on their faith or their hope.