NEWS

18 days in a coma: How a Perth mum won the fight against coronavirus

Now she's warning other Aussies to take the threat seriously

One Ruby Princess passenger has defied the odds, emerging from a coma 18 days later to beat COVID-19.

The Mandurah mum is one of 338 West Australians who have recovered from the deadly virus.

Kiri-Lee Ryder wants to warn Australians to take the threat seriously after she spent 18 days close to death.

At 41 years old, the Mandurah mum of four isn’t a typical coronavirus patient.

She was infected with COVID-19 on board the Ruby Princess cruise ship.

It was a dream holiday that turned into a nightmare that she, fortunately, has now woken up from.

The mother of four was reunited with her mum Carlene on Tuesday night.

“I’ve just started crying Jess, you know seeing somebody for the first time that’s not a nurse behind a mask,” Kiri-Lee said.

Her mum had spent hours each day sitting in the hospital’s waiting area which was as close as she could get.

Doctors and nurses held a phone to Kiri-Lee’s ear and played her favourite song ‘Into My Arms’ by Nick Cave.

“I had lost hope at a point which it just goes to show miracles do happen,” Carlene said.

7News
Kiri-Lee and her husband (Credit: 7News)

Kiri-Lee still hasn’t been able to see her husband and four children but it won’t be long until their reunited.

They’re in quarantine until Wednesday night because they were on the ship too.

On Wednesday another fellow passenger sadly succumbed to the virus.

The 19th death linked to the Ruby Princess that officials allowed to disembark in Sydney unchecked.

Luckily, Kiri-lee voluntarily self-isolated, preventing another outbreak here in WA.

She then went to a COVID clinic where she tested positive.

Within hours, she was told to say goodbye – to her four kids, her husband – and to call her mum.

“Mummy they’re going to put me to sleep, I’m going to have a big sleep’ and I said ‘yes darling I know’,” Carlene said.

“I knew what was going on, from the worried look on the doctor’s faces, you know the big words they were using,” Kiri-Lee explained.

Kiri-lee was nick-named ‘patient one’ as she was the first coronavirus patient at the hospital.

On Tuesday she was well enough to leave intensive care.

She will walk out but is worried others won’t if Australia relaxes our rules.

This article first appeared on 7News and has been republished here with permission.

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