Langley City resident Cathy Gibbs, well known as the executive assistant for two MLAs (including Mary Polak - right) but now retired, was being careful to avoid possible contact with COVID-19. She still contracted the novel coronavirus and spent 12 days in hospital before returning home (Langley Advance Times files)

Twelve days later: Langley City woman returns home after battle with COVID-19

‘Colour me happy and grateful,’ Cathy Gibbs says

After 12 days in hospital battling COVID-19, Langley City resident Cathy Gibbs is home.

“Colour me happy and grateful,” Gibbs commented after being discharged from hospital on Wednesday, Sept. 9.

Now, she has to wait indoors.

Once Gibbs has gone 10 days symptom-free, she will be allowed to leave her home.

She credits her recuperation to maintaining a positive attitude and dedicating herself to aid in her own recovery.

“Moving around as much as I could, and breathing exercises, all made recovery move quickly:” Gibbs recounted.

One symptom that she wasn’t expecting, was joint pain.

“It just travels up and down,” Gibbs described.

She has been reunited with her cat, and is enjoying a return to familiar surroundings.

“I am happy because I am far more blessed than I deserve to be,” Gibbs said.

“I have caring friends and family who have made so many generous offers of support and help”

Gibbs is looking forward to ending her isolation, so her daughter, Tammy, can have an in-person visit.

Tammy came out from Edmonton and made sure her mom’s cupboards were stocked and the house was clean and tidy before Gibbs came home.

READ MORE: Inside the ICU: Langley City woman battles COVID-19

It was Tammy who first realized her mother was seriously ill.

Gibbs had recently been to dinner at the house of a neighbour who was part of her “bubble” — a limited number of people she didn’t have to be socially distant with during the current coronavirus pandemic.

Shortly after the dinner, the neighbour phoned Gibbs to advise she had been exposed to COVID.

Gibbs, who decided to self-isolate at home, developed a persistent cough, but she didn’t think it was too serious.

Tammy, could hear the difference in her mother’s voice when they spoke on the phone.

She phoned Alberta paramedics, who connected with their B.C. counterparts, and an ambulance team arrived at Gibb’s door to check her health.

That’s when Gibbs found out she had pneumonia caused by COVID-19.

After about a day and a half at Langley Memorial Hospital, Gibbs was transferred to Surrey Memorial Hospital (SMH).

Paramedics applied defibrillator pads to her chest for the trip, in case she suffered a heart attack en route.

READ ALSO: Meet the ‘disease detective’ who tracks COVID-19 cases in Langley and other Fraser Health jurisdictions

At 72, Gibbs was enjoying an active retirement after several years as Langley MLA Mary Polak’s constituency assistant, as well as Polak’s predecessor, Lynn Stephens.

On the one-year anniversary of her retirement, on Monday, Aug. 31, Gibbs was at SMH, hooked up to oxygen and a blood pressure monitor, and several other medical devices – unable to get out of bed without assistance.

Gibbs’ advice to people who doubt the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic is that it is real, and even in a small bubble, it is possible to be exposed.

She posted a message online after she was admitted to hospital to say she hopes young people are getting the message.

“I know that this virus has affected your life, it’s affected everyone,” her Facebook posting read.

“You can be grateful that you won’t get as sick as I did, if you get it. I know you are young and you want to live you life, I get that. I am old, but that doesn’t mean that I want to die, do YOU get that?”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusLangley CityLangley Memorial Hospital

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: A one-person Terry Fox walk by Langley City resident

Lois Mcleay didn’t have to worry about social distancing

VIDEO: gunshots fired outside Langley gas station

Two people involved left scene uninjured, police said

B.C. families financially affected by pandemic eligible for grocery gift cards

Program open to struggling families in Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley communities

Three TWU grads named to first ‘Fellows’ program at Langley-based university

Program selects promising recent graduates to participate in a year-long paid internship

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Air quality advisory ends for the Lower Mainland

It had been in effect since Sept. 8

Most Read