Boonville Teen home after medically-induced coma

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 6:53 PM CDT
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BOONVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Last Wednesday, Kendra James came home after a three week battle with COVID-19.

James and her mother, April Detty said it was an eternity, but to the professionals, it was a welcome surprise.

“One of the main doctors up there that was so good with her, they’re like, ‘You know, you are a miracle,’” said Detty.

At only 17, her symptoms were bad enough that the doctors were ready for several months of treatment.

Kendra knew she had COVID-19 for about 12 days before the symptoms hit, and her family rushed her to the hospital.

“We tried everything for about 14 hours and she was just wearing herself out,” said Detty. “Literally just everything she took to breathe.”

Before they knew it, she was being taken to Peyton Manning’s Children’s Hospital.

“I was just scared because we were going all the way to Indianapolis,” said James. “I didn’t know what was going to happen.”

Within a day of arriving, Kendra was on a ventilator, and placed into a medically-induced coma.

She said she doesn’t remember much, but her mother does. Alone in a packed ICU with her daughter in a coma, Detty said she reflected on the pandemic.

“We took it serious, but we didn’t take it that serious,” she explained.

The family had only started to sign up for vaccines a little over a week before Kendra became sick.

“You hear kids thinking, ‘Oh I’m young. My lungs are ok,’” she said. “No. They can hit, I mean she was perfectly fine too.”

Kendra made it back home in three weeks, and she beat the doctors expectations. Expectations set by experience with other children.

Kendra still has tears in her lungs.

“Just walking different places I run out of breath easily, but it’s getting better,” she said.

Her mom said she’s telling everyone she can to do everything to protect their family.

“I know some people have scares about it,” she said. “This is scarier than what can happen with the vaccine.”

As of Monday, Kendra was still taking it one day at a time, but said she’s grateful to be home so soon.

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