When comedian Marci Deloney performed in a Chicago show with Damon Williams in early March, she did not know that would be her last for a while.
But the COVID-19 coronavirus caused more than delays in public shows this spring. Deloney soon found herself on a ventilator fighting for her life.
Not An Asthma Attack
Deloney was living her life like she did every day, going to work, seeing family and friends, and performing comedy acts, until she suddenly got sick.
She began to have trouble breathing, but she thought she may be having an asthma attack. Deloney went to her local urgent care for treatment.
"I did not think I had the virus, that was not the first thought in my head," Deloney said.
But after a few days later, she was still having difficulties breathing. This is the day her life as she knew it, changed forever.
A Positive COVID-19 Test
Deloney could not breathe and was having difficulty moving. She was taken by ambulance to Franciscan Health Olympia Fields. As part of her testing, she learned she was positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Deloney, who developed pneumonia related to the coronavirus, ultimately was on a ventilator for nearly 3 weeks. It was a lonely time, as there were hospital visitor restrictions due to COVID-19, however, Deloney fought hard every single day. "I would not and did not give up," she said.
"All You Have Is Hope and God"
Deloney did not know what her fate would be.
"I remember asking my doctor if I was going to die," she said. "I will never forget it. He told me there was a good chance I was not going to make it."
Her doctor suggested that Deloney make her final phone calls to her family. She called her oldest daughter, and her daughter told her she was not going to die. Her mother-in-law started a prayer network to pray every day for Deloney.
Deloney stated how much her faith played a role during this time.
"All you have is hope and God," she said.
Road To Recovery
Deloney was eventually removed from the ventilator and moved to the ICU and then to a regular room. After therapy, rehabilitation and a long six weeks of being hospitalized, she was discharged from the hospital and is coronavirus free. She does have lung damage as a result from the pneumonia.
Even though this was a journey Deloney never thought she would have to go through, she said it changed her for the better.
"There is something beautiful in an ugly thing," she said. "I am proof that you can find something beautiful in such an ugly time."
Deloney still has some time before she makes a full recovery, but with her family by her side, she will make a recovery.