A 63-year-old paramedic for Piedmont Medical Center in York county who has been battling a severe case of COVID-19 was released from the hospital.
Thursday afternoon Pearl Lemieux got a proper hero’s sendoff, as she left Piedmont's Encompass Health rehabilitation facility to go home for the first time in weeks.
Lemieux is the first coronavirus patient to be released from Encompass Health.
“I’m going to tear up, I cried when I heard she was in the hospital because I thought maybe I’d see her again," said Dr. Melissa Kerg, Lemieux's MEDIC advisor.
Lemieux was hospitalized with COVID-19 for 24 days, on a ventilator for 14 of those.
Then she was transferred to Encompass for rehabilitation, where she spent 8 days recovering.
“For somebody to come out of being on life-support and being that ill and having a good outcome is awesome," Kerg said.
Dozens of friends, family, and coworkers applauded as Lemieux left Encompass on Thursday afternoon.
“It makes me emotional thinking about how I have so much love and support around me," Lemieux said. "Piedmont saved my life no doubt. When I came I was so weak I couldn’t stand and I just walked out the door.”
She drove home beaming and waving from the passenger side of the car, followed by a row of fire trucks, police cars, and EMS in a show of solidarity.
"I know I am here because of God all the prayers I received," she said. "And I’m just so grateful and thankful.”
MORE NEWS ON WCNC CHARLOTTE: