Garriett Bunting worked for over 42 years at Wilmington Hospital before retiring, but it was on Friday, May 15, 2020 she received a hero's sendoff from that same hospital after battling COVID-19 for two months.
She was wheeled triumphantly down the main entrance corridor to the applause and cheers of hospital staff.
Bunting said through tears: "I made it through the storm."
That storm started in mid-March when Bunting was taken by ambulance to the hospital and put on a ventilator.
"I never thought it would be me," said Bunting. "I didn't get the gravity of my sickness. I see it now."
After staying in the hospital's intensive care unit (ICU), fighting the virus, she went through several step-down units before moving to the rehabilitation unit, where she previously worked as an administrator.
"Being able to walk again that was my goal because I really couldn't walk when I got there, and they helped me do that," Bunting said.
Bunting actually took a victory lap with a walker around the rehab unit the day before being discharged.
As far as her message to hospital staff: "You can't give them enough gratitude and thanks."