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As she was discharged from the hospital after two months, emotions overwhelmed Sofia Perez. She saw her two children for the first time since contracting COVID-19.

“It feels so good to finally see them and see my family. It gets real lonely. Being here by myself was probably the hardest.” — recovered COVID-19 patient Sofia Perez

Eight-year-old Kalaya gave her mom a big hug, followed by her son, Siah, 14. Grandparents, aunts, and uncles looked after the children while their mom fought for her life.

The 35-year old home-care provider’s voice was weak. But, her spirit was strong.

“It feels so good to finally see them and see my family. It gets real lonely,” Perez said. “Being here by myself was probably the hardest.”

As Sofia exited Community Medical Regional Center in downtown Fresno, a line of doctors, nurses and other staff cheered.

Faith Sustains a Miracle

“I taught my kids when they were small, never give up. Always fight. … I reminded her of that. Sofia mija, don’t give up. Don’t give up.”Ruben Perez, Sofia’s father

Faith and family helped Perez pull through.

“God, of course, but just being with my family because I missed them,” Perez said.

Pastor Tirso Gonzales of Life Center Church in Fresno helped counsel the family.

“We’ve just been praying together knowing that God — as we’ve seen God do miracles before — and we believe that he’s a miracle worker. We’ve been praying and believing. That’s the hope and anchor that we have, knowing that there’s something greater than us,” Gonzales said.

COVID-19 Diagnosis and Recovery

According to her father, Ruben Perez, Sofia was initially diagnosed with asthma because of coughing and difficulty breathing. When she complained that she couldn’t breathe, her family called an ambulance.

She arrived at CMRC in early April, staying there through today.

Doctors placed Perez on a ventilator. She was in a coma and suffered a stroke while hospitalized as well.

Her father said doctors had to operate on his daughter.

“She was going to die within a day if they didn’t do it. She had a 30 percent chance of not making it out of the operating room. … So, I told them, do it,” Perez said.

A Father’s Message

Perez considers his daughter’s recovery something divine.

“One of the doctors said she needs a miracle. She’s not going to make it. She wasn’t good. God started doing the miracle, little by little,” Perez said.

During her toughest times, father reminded daughter what he told her growing up.

“I taught my kids when they were small, never give up. Always fight,” Ruben Perez said. “Right before she was unable to communicate, I reminded her of that. Sofia, mija, don’t give up. Don’t give up.”

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