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SVSU student survives life-changing COVID experience

Abby Pignatelli, an undecided freshman, experienced COVID differently from most. In fact, the illness took her completely by surprise.

Pignatelli went to the ER on Nov. 25, 2021, for an ear infection just to find her ear drums had burst, had a blood infection and was diagnosed with COVID.

“I was then admitted to the hospital and from what others tell me on Nov. 27 I was intubated and moved to ICU,” she said.

Pignatelli went into a coma and needed to be checked on many times.

“Doctors and nurses would constantly check my brain and heart function unsure if I
would ever wake up,” she said.

“During the time I was on the ventilator my lung collapsed and had a chest tube placed.”

After a few days Pignatelli made it out of her coma.

“With God’s grace on Wednesday, Dec. 1 my body took it upon itself to extubate (remove ventilator tube) myself.”

She was able to return home on Dec. 5 after receiving physical therapy in the hospital.

Pignatelli went through this experience to find it impacted her for the better.

“COVID impacted my life for the better,” she said. “I not only grew my relationship with God, but I also unknowingly helped others with their walk with Christ. Facing death not knowing you are facing death is still crazy for me to wrap my head around, but God has given me a great support system during all of this.”

Pignatelli said she had been asked a few times if she would change what happened to her.

“No, I would not,” she said. “I have a much better appreciation for life, and I learned that God’s not done using me for his work.”

Not only did COVID impact Pignatelli, but it impacted many others in her life as well.

“While I was seeking the medical help I needed, my parents created an amazing Facebook group/page called “prayers for Abby” where they not only updated many but where anyone could post prayers, thoughts and Bible verses,” she said. ”There were over 700 people being my prayer warriors.”

Pignatelli received help from SVSU as well.

“SVSU helped a lot when I was sick,” she said. “My sisters emailed everyone they could to see what accommodations I could receive.”

Pignatelli received help from the SVSU community and will be able to complete her fall semester.

Audrey Bergey
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