Two days after Christmas, Dadeville realtor Rhonda Gaskins found herself at Russell Medical battling COVID-19.

Less than two weeks later, and six days on a ventilator, Gaskins stepped into a car headed home. Best friend and Russell Medical nurse manager Nancy Ammons helped Gaskins into her car.

“You can’t keep a good woman down,” Ammons said. “Show me what you got.”

Gaskins got up from her wheelchair and took a seat in her ride home.

Gaskins thanked the staff at Russell Medical.

“The care here was absolutely amazing,” Gaskins said.

Gaskins said she got comfortable and loves the staff at Russell Medical but nearly two weeks in the hospital was enough.

“I’m really glad to be going home,” Gaskins said.

Gaskins said she didn’t eat much until near the end of her stay.

“Finally got my appetite back,” Gaskins said. “I went probably 10 days without eating; I just wasn’t hungry.”

The coronavirus must have affected Gaskins’ appetite and not the hospital food.

“The food has been great,” Gaskins said. “I have been on regular food.”

The staff did vary from the kitchen menu Thursday night and got Gaskins a special treat before her discharge Friday.

“They broke into my office last night and got her snacks,” Ammons said.

Russell Medical chief medical officer Dr. Michele Goldhagen was one of the first to greet Gaskins in the hallway on Gaskins’ way home. Goldhagen passed a box of Little Debbie Snack Cakes to Gaskins that Ammons supplied.

“Thank y’all,” Gaskins said while holding back tears. “They are from my best friend.”

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.