Taken ‘To The Brink:’ How 8 NJ Locals Beat COVID-19 In 2020

Nicole Rosenthal

NEW JERSEY - A 12-year old New Jersey girl is alive after almost losing her life earlier this year to a blood clot, which may possibly be related to the coronavirus, according to hospital officials at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center.

Jissel Rosario was discharged in May from facility after a harrowing three-week stay that nearly saw a tragic end for the New Jersey preteen.

Rosario first arrived at the hospital on April 21 with an "incredibly swollen and blue" left leg, administrators said. Doctors soon discovered that there was an extremely large, venous clot, which could have broken at any time and caused cardiac arrest.

That's exactly what happened at 5 p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon in the hospital's pediatric catheterization lab, when the 12-year-old "coded," administrators said.

"Jissel tested negative multiple times for COVID-19, but ... her antibody test came back positive," hospital administrators said in May. "While doctors cannot say that the virus caused her condition, it does appear that COVID-19 is causing blood clotting issues in patients."

While doctors were attempting to remove the clot from Rosario's leg, it went into her lungs and caused her heart to stop. Newark Beth Israel staff leaped into action and performed CPR for nearly an hour, before putting Rosario on a heart and lung bypass machine.

A heartbreaking game of see-saw lasted for three days. As the machine kept Rosario alive, a full team of surgeons, specialists and other health care experts tirelessly worked to make sure she'd make it back home.

The tipping point came after doctors used ultrasound technology to inject clot-busting medication directly into the area, administrators said.

Within another three days, Rosario's heart was working on its own. Her family – and the entire medical team – got another positive sign when she began talking and laughing, allaying concerns that her time spent hooked up to the machine would affect her brain.

"Her spirit and the faith of her parents have been a motivating force for the entire team during this difficult time," Newark Beth Israel administrators said (watch Rosario's emotional hospital discharge below):


Since March, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has rattled New Jersey communities. From closing local schools to permanently shuttering small businesses to taking nearly 16,500 lives as of Dec. 24, the virus has left virtually no individual untouched by its devastating effects.

But of the 449,800 total New Jerseyans that have come down with the virus to date, there are, of course, the survivors.

Below is just a sampling of local stories highlighting the fear, isolation and resilience that comes with a diagnosis - as well as the joy that comes with surviving:

Newark Nurse Gets 'Clap Out' From Peers After Beating Coronavirus: It wasn't long ago that Mary Koch was a COVID-19 inpatient. Watch a video of her emotional discharge from the hospital.

Watch Rousing Cheers, Tears For Recovering Essex County Prison CO: Andrew Crooks spent nearly two months in the hospital with COVID-19, including a harrowing 32 days hooked up to a ventilator.

Coronavirus Took East Orange Councilman 'To The Brink' And Back: Mustafa Al-M. Brent, who also serves as a firefighter in Newark, says he's on the mend after being hospitalized for COVID-19.

Newark Hospital Saves 'Coding' Girl Who Has Virus Antibodies: A 12-year old New Jersey girl almost lost her life to a blood clot. It may have been caused by the coronavirus, the hospital says. (VIDEOS)

Belleville Mayor Has Coronavirus Antibodies; Here's What It Means: Was Belleville Mayor Michael Melham among the first COVID-19 cases in the United States? There's a good chance of it, he says.

Bridgewater Doctor Recovers From Coronavirus, Donates Plasma: Dr. John Bucek at RWJBH University Somerset Hospital is donating his plasma to help those infected with the coronavirus.

NJ Man Makes 'Miracle' Coronavirus Recovery At Wayne Facility: In May, Luis Martinez was on a ventilator after contracting COVID-19. Last week, he walked out of the Lakeview Rehabilitation & Care Center.

Bound Brook Officer Donates Plasma To Save Lives On His Birthday: Bound Brook police Officer Frank Waller, who has since recovered from the new coronavirus, donated plasma on his birthday to help others.

This article originally appeared on the Howell Patch