PICKERINGTON, Ohio (WCMH) — As the number of COVID-19 cases drops across the country, a local Pickerington woman says she feels grateful to be home after spending the last six months in various hospitals and rehabilitation centers battling the virus.
Judy Hodge is a beloved, retired music education teacher in the Pickerington community. She says she is determined to retrain herself to play the piano.
“My mind processing what I’m seeing all the time and then my muscle memory is not there for my hands and fingers,” Hodge said.
This condition is one of the lingering side effects of her six-month battle with the coronavirus.
“And I prayed to die several times, I remember that at Grant (Medical Center) and I thought let me go, let it be peaceful, let me go to sleep and not wake up,” Hodge said.
After feeling hesitant to get the vaccine, Hodge decided she would get the shot before leaving for a trip on Labor Day weekend in 2021. However, that is the same time she learned she tested positive for the virus.
“In the beginning of it, it was very mild, and I thought, ‘Oh I can handle this.’ By Saturday, I was pretty much gasping for air,” Hodge said.
Her daughter Jennifer documented her journey through TikTok videos and social media posts asking for friends and loved ones to keep her mom in their prayers.
However, Hodge remembers calling her daughter and son Jim one very dark morning to say, “’Thank you for everything you did and if something happens, know that it was enough, and I love you,’ and I signed DNR papers that day.”
While fighting for her life on a ventilator for more than 70 days, Hodge says she has no memory of the time.
“When I found out it was over 70 days, I was overwhelmed, I was just blown away that nobody gave up on me,” she said.
Her family and friends have been supporting her every step of the way as she needed to learn how to walk again in rehabilitation.
“Almost everything I had to relearn but especially walking,” Hodge said.
She added, “I’ve been asked if you had it to do over would you get the vaccine…my faith lies in God, but if it would save my family and my friends from the heartache that they went through, yeah I would do it…in a heartbeat.”