When we first met 61-year-old Janis Blount in December 2020, she was in the hospital at Little Company of Mary in Torrance and thanking her lucky stars.
She thought she was going to die after contracting a bad case of COVID-19. She said she was on a ventilator for five days.
"I didn’t think I was going to see my kids no more," Janis said. "I didn’t think I was going to see anybody anymore."
Fast-forward to March 2021, she has tested negative for the virus, but still has lingering effects of COVID-19.
She says, "I’m still on oxygen. I still get a little bit fatigued but overall, I’m doing fine."
That’s good news. She was helped with medications, a ventilator and a lot of TLC. She was hospitalized for 16 days and says, "I was blessed beyond imagination because other people I know didn’t make it."
When she looks back, a single thought runs through her mind that she likes to preach.
"Be careful or you could end up in the hospital like her," Janis said, pointing to her own experience.
She explained her cousin wasn't as fortunate. Janis said her cousin "wouldn't get on the ventilator and he ended up passing away."
Blount says she is grateful she is still alive.
She says, "I’m appreciative of everything. The littlest thing I’m appreciative of, like just waking up in the morning. I’m like, 'Thank you, Lord.'"
She now walks a mile a day. She has returned to work and she’s grateful she’ll live to see her 62nd birthday in April.
Now, she is extra careful. She says, "Now, I double mask. I don’t use just one. I use two. And, do what I can to make people understand this is no joke."
That thing of being in the hospital for so long. The feeling of being so sick and having such an uncertain future. Those are the feelings that will stay with her forever.