“You should be in heaven right now. It’s a miracle that you’re alive.”

Those are the words that my sister heard this morning, as she sat up in the reclining chair that had replaced her hospital bed, listening to her doctor give his latest assessment. An hour or two before, the ventilator and feeding tube that she had depended on for the last nine days had been removed. Nine days ago, my sister’s oxygen saturation level had dipped as low as the high 30s. Her temperature was over 104. Her blood pressure was 78/44. Her heartrate hovered around 120. However, for the first time in over a week, my sister was able to speak today. Her vital signs were near normal. The two blood clots that had formed in her right arm (near former IV sites) had all but disappeared. Though quite tired, my sister enjoyed the afternoon reclining in her lounge chair, surrounded by family, watching the NASCAR race, one of her biggest passions.

Afterwards, she bid a fond farewell to the nursing staff in ICU. All these people knew her quite well. Unfortunately, the sedatives and paralitics she was on didn’t allow her the same luxury of vice-versa. She was moved out of Intensive Care and into a regular hospital room. A little more recovery and some observation. She may be out of the hospital by the end of the week.

She’s still a little short of breath. She’s quite weak. She doesn’t have much of an appetite. But my sister was presented with the challenge of “Legionnaire’s Pneumonia”. And my sister won.