LORI BOWLING is a diligent business owner who not only runs a real estate company but also operates a transportation business that involves a limo and party bus. She’s not the sort of person to be stopped by an illness, so during the COVID pandemic, she didn’t let the sickness faze her. “I got sick on a Saturday and went to an urgent care [facility]. They told me I tested positive for COVID. I came home after they gave me some medicine, and I was feeling okay,” she said.
That, though, wasn’t the end – it was the beginning of a horrible journey. “Then, on Monday, I wasn’t feeling too good, and I ended up calling the ambulance. They took me to the hospital, and they gave me an IV. I came home around six hours later and thought, ‘I have got this thing whipped. I feel great.’”
Sadly, this wasn’t the case. “And then 48 hours later, I took a turn for the worse, and I had to call the ambulance again. They said this time, not only do you have COVID, but also double pneumonia. But they didn’t keep me. They sent me home because the hospitals were so swamped. They said for me to just to go home.”
Lori decided to recover at home and selflessly warned her son, who has asthma, to stay away from the house for his own safety. The fact that she wasn’t answering any texts alerted him to something very amiss. He went to his mother’s house, kicked in the back door, and discovered his seriously ill mom going into cardiac arrest.
“I don’t remember much. I do remember my son kicking my door in and then helping me into the ambulance. And [I remember] him standing there, just looking in despair as those two glass doors to the emergency room closed. He didn’t know if he would ever see his mom again.”
Lori found herself in a horrible life-and-death situation. “I remember a doctor in a white coat coming in and saying to another doctor, ‘We really need to put her on a vent if she’s going to live.’ This man in the white coat said to the other doctor – and I really remember this – ‘Give me 30 minutes with her, and if she doesn’t turn around, we will have to call her son and vent her.’ So, when the doctor came back – and I don’t remember much from that point, but I know that they didn’t vent me. I said I didn’t want to be vented; I’d just die if I had to.”
Lori remained in the hospital for five long weeks. “The first week or so, I wasn’t very coherent, but I knew the voice of that one doctor who was standing over me. That same person appeared again, probably after I’d been there a week or so. He appeared back in my room and stood at the foot of my bed. He called my name and said, ‘You need to keep fighting. You’re not supposed to be here.’”
Lori’s father had taught her to fight at an early age. And fight she did – with the assistance of her protector.
Who, though, was this doctor? The nurses had been wondering the same thing themselves and followed him one night, pushing the door open to Lori’s room. He was nowhere to be found – not anywhere. “You’ve got an angel holding you up and keeping you going,” the nurse concluded.
Lori was eventually released from the hospital so emaciated that, at first, her son failed to recognize her. Recovery was slow and gradual, but Lori was determined to regain her earlier life. When well-meaning friends got sick and couldn’t help her drive her limo, she did it herself.”
Lori never did discover the identity of this mysterious doctor, and maybe it doesn’t matter. But she is grateful. “I know there were a lot of people who lost their lives during that time. I was one of those low, low numbers who made it through.” Her father taught her well. GN