‘Another chance at life’
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The doctors do not know how Grimaudo contracted the infection. Lundy said that 20 to 30 percent of people who contract viral myocarditis do not survive.
In the days that followed, Grimaudo remained ill and was transferred to Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, which specializes in heart transplants. Then, her health began to improve drastically.
“Over the next seven days, her heart completely recovered,” Lundy said. “All those devices were able to be taken out, and now she has a normal heart.”
Lundy added that he was surrised that Grimaudo recovered without any permanent mental impairment. “What can happen when there’s not blood flow to the brain, even for a short period of time, is that there’s brain damage,” he said. “When she woke up completely normal, many of us did high fives around the hospital.”
Lundy, who has a 30-year-old daughter himself and said that that was a major reason why “this case had a big impact” on him. He kept vigil by Grimaudo’s bedside.
The harrowing ordeal, Grimaudo said, has made her more appreciative of life — and her career. “At this point, I’m really happy I get another opportunity to see the children and continue my career, which I love,” she said. “Just living life, this job is so rewarding. I’ll never complain about getting up early and coming to work.
“I’m so thankful and truly grateful,” she added of the doctors. “They gave me another chance at life.”