WEST CHESTER, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A roaring round of applause echoed through the halls of Chester County Hospital this week as staff celebrated a monumental win.
After nearly three weeks in the intensive care unit, Deborah Hocker was discharged on Thursday having beaten COVID-19.
"I was thrilled to death to go home, but I had no idea they had all those people lined up and cheering me on," said Hocker.
Hocker said she felt ill back on March 29.
"Fever, loss of appetite, all I wanted to do was sleep," she explained.
Hocker was on a ventilator for more than a week of her hospital stay, and apart from her husband John for the duration.
"Penn was great, I would call every morning and they would give me an update," said John Hocker. "The doctor would call me in the afternoon and then I would call before I went to bed. They would give me an update, they were great, but it was still one of the toughest things I ever did."
The couple is grateful to all the hospital workers and staff that not only helped Deborah, but are still helping other patients battling the virus.
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The milestone also resonated with hospital staff who cheered every step of the way -- especially with COVID-19 ICU nurse, Jackie Sharp, who treated Deborah.
"Personally, it was awesome for me," said Sharp.
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Sharp said Hocker is the first patient put on a ventilator that's been able to go home.
"It was just really great to see," Sharp said. "Just doing what we need to do."
The Hockers' message to the public remains clear.
"Don't go out without a mask, do what the doctors tell you," Deborah and John Hocker said.
And that there's no limit to the gratitude one can give to all health care workers out there on the front lines.
"I give them a lot of credit, cause they do put their lives on the line every day," Deborah Hocker said.
Chester County Hospital celebrates woman's recovery from COVID-19
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