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Santa Maria woman released from hospital after being treated for COVID-19 for more than 60 days

Luis and Melissa Meza
Luis Meza

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Melissa Meza was finally released from Marian Regional Medical Center on Friday after being hospitalized for COVID-19 for more than 60 days.

Melissa is the wife to Luis Meza, a chef at the Hitching Post. Her husband was hospitalized for the virus in late March.

The day he recovered and left the hospital, Luis was informed by a nurse that his wife had suddenly come down with a very serious case of COVID-19.

Melissa was rushed to the ER and immediately placed on a ventilator.

"It was pretty scary because there was a high chance she wasn't going to make the ambulance ride there. It was one of the hardest things I could do," Luis told NewsChannel 12 in April. He had to give the okay for her transportation to the hospital.

During this terrifying time, Luis said he and the couple's family and friends gathered together to pray for Melissa's recovery. One friend even set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for their medical bills. The page quickly raised over $30,000.

After being admitted at Marian, Melissa was moved to a hospital in Santa Monica to be put on an Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine. The ECMO machine helped by oxygenating Melissa's blood outside of her body so that her heart and lungs could rest.

Luis said he was not allowed to visit or see his wife during her treatment.

Fortunately, within days of being put on the ECMO machine, Melissa's health improved drastically. She even woke up on the couple's anniversary.

After that, Melissa was moved back to Marian hospital and finally, after a 40-day long battle, tested negative for the coronavirus.

While the worst of it was over, doctors said Melissa still had a serious case of pneumonia and would need to remain in the hospital for treatment.

On Friday, more than 60 days after she was first admitted, Melissa was released from the hospital. Doctors said she will still need to undergo physical and voice therapy before she is fully recovered from this experience.

Since testing negative for COVID-19 himself, Luis has been donating blood plasma for others suffering from the virus. He said that someone had donated plasma to his wife during her recovery. He thinks it made a world of difference and wants to pay it forward.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

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Jessica Brest

Jessica Brest is a digital journalist and assignment editor for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Jessica, click here.

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Anikka Abbott

Anikka Abbott is a weather anchor and reporter for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Anikka, click here.


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