Joplin woman celebrates Thanksgiving after Covid-19 hospitalization last year

This thanksgiving, Jennifer Parks is celebrating with her loved one's by her side, It's a significant change from how she spent the holiday last year.

JOPLIN, Mo.–This thanksgiving, Jennifer Parks is celebrating with her loved ones by her side, It’s a significant change from how she spent the holiday last year.

“I was at…mercy hospital. I was on the ventilator in ICU battling Covid,” Parks said.

Parks was diagnosed with Covid-19, and hospitalized last November, 

There, she spent over a month on a ventilator, and even more time in the hospital.’

“I was on the ventilator for 33 days,” she said. “Then I was in the hospital for two months, and then I was in the nursing home for three months…so every day, you know, is a fight. I have a lot of pains with my legs and feet. I have neuropathy now and just things that I didn’t have.”

Due to the severity of her infection, Parks had to be fed through a feeding tube. This year, she’s actually able to enjoy her favorite thanksgiving dishes.

“Even after I got off the ventilator, ended up with a feeding tube. So I really don’t remember not having that. But this year, I mean, I can taste and I can smell. You know, it’s wonderful. It’s wonderful to have that back.”

After her rough battle with Covid-19, parks has a message she says she wants to get across.

“If you can get the vaccine, get the vaccine, because… we’re having Friendsgiving because we’ve all been vaccinated, we’re able to actually get together. But I think it’s very important, you know, to get it because yes, I might have gotten Covid, but it might not have been as bad. I wouldn’t have ended up on a ventilator or had a stroke. “

Now That parks is back home with her loved ones,  she says she has, even more, to be thankful for this year.