RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Kenie Beal shared her success story and thanked the dozens of ICU health care workers at Randolph Heath during a small gathering Wednesday evening.

Kenie is the first person to leave the ICU at Randolph Health as a survivor of COVID-19.

“I’m a lot more grateful for things and mindful of how quick things can change. Life’s short, and mine was almost shorter than it wanted to be,” Kenie said.

The celebration was full of all the ICU nurses and doctors that helped save her life, as well as cake, food and tears of joy.

Kenie was admitted into the ICU for 40 days after contracting COVID-19.

She said she first contracted the virus last fall and walked into the emergency room of Randolph Health because she was having trouble breathing.

Kenie said for the first week in the ER, she could care for herself, eat, drink, and then everything went downhill.

One of her lungs collapsed, and she was admitted to the ICU and put on a ventilator to help with her breathing.

She stayed intensive care for 40 days after doctors said her prognosis didn’t look good.

Her husband, Michael Beal, stayed right by her side every step of the way as her health became better.

“Never quit. Never give up. That’s my whole life moto … That’s why I never quit on her,” Michael said.

Nurses who helped Kenie get her health back said her success story is rewarding and now gives them a strong sense of hope for the future.