COVID-19 survivor returns to Ocoee to meet hospital staff that saved her life

Maureen Woods, 56, spent nearly three weeks in a coma while struggling to recover.

Orlando Health
Orlando Health
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A COVID-19 survivor returned to Ocoee On Tuesday, Oct. 12, to meet the hospital staff that helped to save her life at the Orlando Health – Health Central Hospital. 

Maureen Woods, 56, spent 40 days in the hospital’s critical care unit, according to Orlando Health. 

On July 24, Woods was admitted to the hospital for painful kidney stones, where she then tested positive for COVID-19.

Her condition rapidly declined and she developed pneumonia, a blood infection, and a collapsed lower lung. 

Woods' body went into total organ failure as she lapsed into a coma for nearly three weeks.

Woods said due to her condition, she was never able to properly meet the staff who cared for her and encouraged her to fight towards recovery. 

“I don’t remember them, so I can’t wait to meet them,” Woods said, whose husband told her of a conversation with Dr. Joel Santora, medical director of Critical Care Medicine at the hospital, who promised to do all that he could to give her the best chance of recovering. “I wanted to meet the man who saved my life.”

Santora said it was an awesome feeling to see the progress Woods has made since she left the hospital. 

“Most times after patients are discharged, our team doesn’t receive any further updates on their condition or how they’re recovering," Santora said. "For her to come back to visit us and say thank you means the world to our team.”




Annabelle Sikes

News Editor Annabelle Sikes was born in Boca Raton and moved to Orlando in 2018 to attend the University of Central Florida. She graduated from UCF in May 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in sociology. Her past journalism experiences include serving as a web producer at the Orlando Sentinel, a reporter at The Community Paper, managing editor for NSM Today, digital manager at Centric Magazine and as an intern for the Orlando Weekly.

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