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South Georgia COVID survivor, hospital inspire community

Smallest gestures go the longest way
Posted at 6:13 PM, Sep 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-01 18:13:43-04

BAINBRIDGE, Ga. (WTXL) — Renita Jones describes the moments she and her husband started to feel sick in August.

"Scary to tell you the truth but I knew it was going to be alright."

Jones had pain in her lower legs that made it hard to even walk.

"I couldn't get up out the bed, I didn't want to take a bath, I couldn't get up and brush my teeth, it looked like I was drained," Jones said.

Her husband first took her to Bainbridge Hospital, which was packed so they headed to Donalsonville Hospital in neighboring Seminole County.

"About 30 minutes after they took me in the emergency room they came and told me it was COVID," said Jones.

The small, rural hospital was about to take care of one of their longest staying COVID-19 patients.

Jones had to be on a ventilator for two days and couldn't lay on her back. She said she has experienced "plenty of medical problems before and it was hard but there is nothing that I have went through that was like COVID."

For 14 days, Jones was in the hospital, becoming one of the hospital's longest patients. During that time, her three children camped outside of her window, waiting for their mom to get better.

The hospital decided it was time to inspire hope to the remaining COVID-19 patients and all of their staff by sending Jones off with a bang! One staff member shouted, "there she comes with some fresh air" as they wheeled her out, balloons and all!

Jones says she understands how difficult it can be for the doctors and nurses and appreciates everything they do.

"I thank them so much for helping me while I was there because it gets hard knowing that you can't do something for yourself and then you have to depend on somebody else to do it for you they did everything they were supposed to do, I love them," said Jones.

With the worst of COVID behind her, Jones' outlook now is, "never take anything for granted because you can be here one day and gone the next that's just how fast it happens, and I was blessed."

Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering