Temple student shares survivor story after COVID-19 battle takes unexpected turn

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Despite COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations rising at alarming rates, many are feeling fatigued over the precautions and restrictions meant to slow its spread.

That's why a Temple University student is sharing her story after her battle with the virus took an unexpected turn.

Like so many college students, Madeline Neville thought this couldn't happen to her, but it did. She spent nine days in the hospital with serious heart complications.

"Definitely something amazing happened to me. I am blessed to be alive," said Neville, who was able to beat the virus.

"I wasn't scared. I am young and they say the young people are supposed to be okay," she said.

SEE ALSO: Gov. Wolf announces new restrictions in Pennsylvania as COVID-19 cases surge
EMBED More News Videos

Governor Tom Wolf announced tighter COVID-19 restrictions Thursday afternoon as the virus rages on across the commonwealth.



Neville has never been sick and doesn't even have a primary care physician.

She says she contracted the virus from her roommate in October. Once she lost her taste and smell, Neville knew she was infected. A test confirmed she indeed had COVID-19.

After quarantining at home, she thought she was on the road to recovery, but her health took a turn for the worse.

"My heart was functioning at 11%. They called it congestive heart failure," Neville said.
Neville says that news from doctors rocked her world and changed her life forever.

SEE ALSO: Daughter, son share heartbreaking story of father's loss as COVID deaths skyrocket
EMBED More News Videos

Joe Spina of Manchester, Ocean County is counted among those gone too soon. He died on March 31 when the pandemic was still in its infancy.



Neville says she didn't let herself freak out. Instead of panicking, she vented on social media. In a Facebook post, she shared her health scare and warned others to take COVID seriously.

"I just want people to be aware that it is not just the elderly population," Neville said.

Neville hopes her story will change the minds of those who are skeptical about the virus. She says she's excited about the news of a vaccine. And while the country is dealing with COVID fatigue, she says to remember things could always be worse.

"Having a bum heart at 20 years old sucks a little bit worse and so I just hope you remember me anytime you get a little bit frustrated and fed up with the COVID restrictions," Neville said.

She was just released from the hospital on Tuesday. At this point, she says it's too early to tell if she will have long term complications from her battle with COVID-19.
Copyright © 2021 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.