HUNTINGTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Doctors are calling a grandmother a “walking miracle” after she survived COVID-19, and more.

Tuesday she had a chance to reunite with some of the people who helped save her life.

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As CBS2’s Christina Fan reports, to understand the gratitude Alisa White feels returning to Huntington Hospital is to know the condition she was in when she was first admitted January 6th – in a medically induced coma with only a 10% chance of survival.

“I really thank you. Thank you very much for saving my life. How many times I could have died? So many times I could have died,” White said.

After battling COVID in the ICU for a month last winter, the 61-year-old grandmother developed severe pancreatitis, a complication of the virus.

Her family says every hospital she visited gave up on her, until she found Dr. Demetrio Tzimas and Dr. Anthony Armetta.


“Unfortunately she had such bad pancreatitis, most of her pancreas died, and she had a dead organ in her abdomen,” Tzimas said.

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The two doctors, Tzimas a gastroenterologist, Armetta an interventional radiologist, worked tirelessly over the course of six months, performing eight surgeries to remove the infected, tissue leaving just a tiny healthy fraction a person can live with.

“So we put a drain directly in through the skin into the infected fluid with just a small incision, and there were other areas as well,” Armetta said.

“She’s really a walking miracle,” Tzimas said.

For White, the true miracle workers are the doctors who saved her life.

“Just don’t know how bad I appreciate it. I feel like I want to cry but I’m trying to hold my tears,” White said.

Now fully recovered, she’s able to return home and enjoy time for her six children and 11 grandchildren.

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CBS2’s Christina Fan contributed to this report. 

CBSNewYork Team