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“It has helped me a lot and I really wouldn’t change it,” COVID-19 survivor says after battling for her life.

Published: Nov. 17, 2020 at 5:01 PM CST
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -

Sometimes it takes a “near death experience” to change your life and one Dothan native is telling her story to help inspire others to not give up.

“A surge of thankfulness I guess because I almost died and I really thought I was saying goodbye to my family. Then I started thinking my family needs me, my friends need me, my guys that I work with need me, as well as my coworkers," COVID-19 survivor, Crystal Bowen said.

What Crystal Bowen and doctors believed was just a sinus infection quickly turned into the worst. Not even a week later, Crystal was admitted to the hospital.

“Monday and Tuesday I guess I called out sick to work, I don’t remember that either. But Wednesday is the day I went to the ER and I know that because that’s what they’ve told me,” Bowen said.

After only a day in the Covid unit, Crystal was informed she would have to be put on a ventilator. Miraculously 9 days later, Crystal woke up from a coma not even remembering where she was.

“They come in and the guy says do you know where you are? I’m like I’m somewhere in Florida. He says no you’re not, you’re in Dothan. I just laughed at him and he had to tell me like four times because I was like there’s no way, you’re messing with me right," Bowen said.

But the only thing Crystal had on her mind when she woke up was getting back to work and that’s exactly what she did.

“I wanted to hear their voices but then I wanted to let them know that I was ready to be back. I would so much rather be working than be in the hospital because if I’m working, I can help take care of myself and other people,” Bowen said.

As a mental health professional at Graceville Correctional Facility, Crystal’s main job is to help inmates and what better way to do so then sharing a story of overcoming one of life’s toughest battles.

“To use my experience to help them. They’re scared and I’m sure they’re families were scared. I wanted to be able to take what I had experienced and the fact that I had survived it and I was really excited about that, to show other people that it can get really bad and it can look really bad but then it can get better," Bowen said.

After nearly a month in the hospital and rehab, learning how to walk, talk and eat all over again, Crystal has returned to work with a life-changing experience.

“It was rough going through it and it was this whole roller coaster of sadness, and anger and frustration and anxiety and worry but it has helped me a lot and I really wouldn’t change it," Bowen said.

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