‘It hit me like a tornado’: 20-year-old Stetson student describes fight with COVID-19

A 20-year-old Stetson University student is back home after being in the hospital for 17 days fighting COVID-19.

Hannah Churms tells FOX 35 she has no known underlying conditions.

She said in late March she developed a cough and called 911 struggling to breathe.

That night, she checked herself into AdventHealth DeLand.

She said once inside, things became a blur.

“In my brain I was really scared, and I was trying to jerk myself awake, but I couldn’t,” she said.

The next day, she was flown to AdventHealth Orlando.

She said doctors told her her kidneys weren’t working, her heart was weakening and her blood pressure was spiking.

“Once they told me all my organs were shutting down, that’s when I thought I was going to die,” she said. 

Doctors worked to save her life, and she was on the verge of being allowed to go home until she had three sudden seizures.

“I remember saying, ‘I’m about to pass out,' going, going, gone,” she said.

RELATED: Father dies after entire Orlando family contracts COVID-19

When she was released Thursday, a line of neighbors, family and friends greeted her as she drove into her neighborhood.

“They put signs on their cars and they were screaming 'welcome home.' It was like a huge parade,” she said. 


Although she’s back home, her fight still isn’t over.

She’s going to dialysis three times a week.

She said doctors told her if her kidneys don’t recover, she’ll need a transplant. 

RELATED: Married nurse couple at Florida hospital fights coronavirus on the front lines together

“I don’t want a kidney transplant because I’m so young, but if it’s something I have to do then I’m not opposed,” she said.

For now, she’s remaining hopeful and thankful for the doctors and nurses who saved her life.

For the latest on the coronavirus, click HERE.