An East Bay family got the best present of all this Christmas Eve. They found out that grandma was coming home after winning her battle against COVID-19.
Sam Issa breathed a huge sigh of relief Thursday knowing his 83-year-old mother Maryam was safe and healthy and headed back home to Concord.
"I was miserable," Sam said. "You know, my mom is the cornerstone of our family."
It started when two of her grandkids tested positive.
"My sister got COVID from work," Mimi Issa, Sam's daughter, said. "She works at a grocery store."
For them, it was mild. For Maryam, it was not.
"We knew there was something wrong, but she was very stubborn and she finally went when she finally couldn't breathe," Sam said.
In fact, she'd waited 11 days with a fever — still haunted by the last time she saw her husband alive.
"My dad had passed away in 2006," Sam said. "She had taken him to the hospital. She saw him go in, but he never came out."
Mimi said loved ones were calling Maryam every day to make sure she was doing OK.
"I said, 'Mom, you have to think that you can beat this thing.' She goes, 'I have no doubt in my mind I can beat this thing.' But she started crying because she misses us and she misses the grandkids," Sam said.
But after four days of treatment, doctors said Maryam's white blood cells and oxygen levels were back up. They gave her the green light to go home.
Sam said he's happy for the miracle of modern medicine.
"We're just glad to have her back," he said. "I mean, what's the chances of an 83-year-old comes back home after they get corona?"