Lafrieda Morris went to the hospital on February 7, 2002, for an abdominal hernia repair. Her next memories began five weeks later, when she awoke from a drug induced coma. She had no memory of the surgery, and had no idea of where she was at; it upset her to keep asking.
Though Lafrieda knew she was at the hospital, she could not remember that it was St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens, GA. Her family told her much of what occurred but also omitted a lot of the details. She was told that she almost died on two occasions. She was on the ventilator for four weeks and she had a trach.
Waking up from the coma was rough. Lafrieda could not understand why she could not move or talk, and why it was so difficult to write and no one could read her writing. Lafrieda was frustrated. She was released from the hospital on April 23, 2002. Lafrieda had about 12 outpatient rehab visits. The facility did not deal with lung patients, so they did not know what to do with her.
Never in a million years would Lafrieda have understood how much oxygen it requires for people to be able to do the simplest things. It has been two years she does not think that she will be able to forget the dreams that she had while in the coma. Lafrieda still has some memory problems which bother her. She did not have pulmonary rehabilitation, nor did she know that such a therapy existed until she read about it on the website. When she inquired to her physician, she was told that though they had that in her city, her insurance would not cover it.
Lafrieda is still on oxygen 24/7 and is taking Prednisone. Each time they try to take her off. Her breathing becomes very labored. Lafrieda dislikes the side effects, and wishes she did not have to take it. She tires very easily and still has a cough, sometimes very bad.
Though Lafrieda worked for AT&T for thirty-five years, due to ARDS, she was forced to retire at the age of 53. Lafrieda will never be able to work again. After two years, Lafrieda is definitely a survivor and has been called a miracle by many. But she would not wish ARDS on her worst enemy.
Since getting out of the hospital, Lafrieda has looked at her records and is concerned because her records indicate that she also has pulmonary fibrosis as well as ARDS. She is thankful for all that she has learned but realizes that she needs to keep searching for the information regarding her health. And she wants to share what is happening to her now. Lafrieda is thankful to the ARDS Foundation and to all of the ARDS miracles who are there.