The family believes that the former beauty queen contracted the coronavirus from her neighbor.
Barbara Guthrie Lay, who was crowned Miss Virginia in 1958, seems to have found the one thing not everyone is lucky enough to receive - a second chance at life. The 82-year-old's life came to a sudden halt when she contracted COVID-19 from her next-door neighbor.
Former Miss Virginia, 82, Comes Back to Life After Being Declared Dead from COVID-19: 'A Miracle'— Cleavon MD (@Cleavon_MD) January 6, 2021
Barbara Guthrie Lay is in recovery after she was pronounced dead on Dec. 22 https://t.co/Payj0BHlXV pic.twitter.com/wfvQYhLgBY
She was rushed to the hospital on December 20, 2020, after she faced some trouble breathing at her home in Rosewell, Georgia. Two days later, her family was given shocking news that they never expected. Her husband of six years, Tony Lay, was informed that Barbara had passed away. Due to COVID restrictions, the distraught husband couldn't even visit her.
As soon as Tony heard the devastating news, he started informing his relatives that Barbara was no more; that's when he was given another shocking news. He received a call from the hospital informing him that a pulse had been found on his beloved wife. "I was overjoyed and tearful again. I went from being miserable and brokenhearted to overjoyed," Tony told WSET.
The husband said that they were not sure about how the former Miss Virginia came back from the dead but since then, Barbara has been moved from the ICU to a regular ward. What's interesting is the fact she is unaware that her family lost her for a few minutes and Tony is still deciding when to inform her. "I have always loved my wife. I just didn't realize exactly how much until this happened and that I can't live without her."
Barbara's son Thom Kelley was the first one to be informed about his mother's death, according to Martinsville Bulletin. Thom, who is also a physician, was the one who told his dad about the demise of his mom. However, right after he made the distressing call to his dad, he received a call from the doctors saying they had found a faint pulse.
Talking to the publication, the son said, "As a physician, I will say without hesitation there is only one word for what has happened over the past week — a miracle. Anyone that knows my mom is aware of her tenacity, her desire to live to 101, and, yes, her stubbornness."
"All of this has helped her get to this place, but she most certainly would not be here today without all of the love, prayers and support that everyone has lifted up," he added.
Barbara's longtime friend Howard Huff dubbed the incident as a "Christmas miracle," revealing that she was on a ventilator and medically-induced coma before the shocking incident. "Lots of people have been praying for her, and those prayers have been answered. She has this incredible will to live and always says she plans to live until she's 101."
INCREDIBLE: A former Miss Virginia is now being crowned a Christmas miracle after a near-death experience with COVID-19. https://t.co/A2K2FbSl50— WICS ABC 20 (@wics_abc20) January 5, 2021
He added that he was going to keep a clip of the unbelievable incident so that he can show it to the beauty queen when she gets discharged. "Barbara has not seen a spotlight she didn't like. She has this incredible will to live and always says she plans to live until she's 101."