After 42 days, neighborhood welcomes home COVID-19 survivor with a parade

Police-escorted parade celebrate survival of Metairie woman after COVID-19

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Jan Corpora laughs from her front lawn as a parade approaches, all for her.

“This has been awesome, just for people to take the time and come out show me how much they care. That really touches me,” Jan explained.

“Like I said, she was gone for 42 days so this was the best way for people to see her and it was a great turn out,” Jan’s daughter Lena Corpora said.

Jan spent 42 days away from home with COVID-19. She was in the hospital 35 days, in rehab another seven and on a ventilator for 19 days.

"It was touch and go there for a while. They said I got my second chance," Jan said.

Jan’s daughter Lena took her to the doctor on March 22. Immediately, she was transported to the hospital with pneumonia in both of her lungs.

“She was scared, she was very scared,” said Lena. “It went pretty quick. They called me and they said they had to put her on a ventilator. It was like in a 30-minute span. The doctors got on the phone and said this has to be done and that was it.”

“I was like, oh my God I got a call my daughter to tell her and she was like wait and I was like, ‘no, I got to go. They want to do it now so, I got to go.’ I said, ‘love you,’” Jan recalled.

For 19 days, Lena watched over her mother through Facetime and via the nurses and physicians caring for her.

“I couldn’t be there so I was relying on them for every minute of the day of what’s happening, updates. They did the best they could under the most stressful time for them, too, because they didn’t know about this virus,” Lena said. “They did the best they could and they did. I mean, she’s here. And she’s a miracle.”

“They are the heroes,” Jan said.

But Jan also believes the power of prayer and a few of her late loved ones played a part in her pulling through.

"God, prayers and I got some guardian angels in heaven, my husband and my son, so I know they were looking out for me," Jan explained.

Now, back at home, Jan is still recovering. Doctors say her lungs will recover, despite her asthma, but Jan will have to go to physical therapy for a while due to her time confined to bed. She's also suffering from heart problems now, due to the virus.

For now, Jan takes in every moment of her survival celebration.

“It’s wonderful. It’s really, it does make you wanna cry,” Jan said.

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