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Just two months ago, the family of Eloise Barnette was saying good-bye. The 75-year-old grandmother had been unresponsive in an Ohio hospital since October, when her husband woke one morning to find her in a coma-like state.
Doctors weren't sure what was wrong with Barnette, who arrived at the hospital with a temperature of 104 F. Doctors ruled out stroke and meningitis. She was given antivirals, although a brain infection was later ruled out, and put on a ventilator. Later tests showed that her kidneys were failing, so she was put on dialysis. Her blood pressure dropped precipitously.
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On November 19, Barnette was taken to Meadow Grove, a palliative care center in Grove, Ohio, to be kept comfortable as her family prepared for her death.
Her daughter Beverly Dale, her husband and the rest of her family made the difficult decision to take Barnette off life support and began to plan her funeral.
"Even the doctors said, no, she's not going to make it," Barnette's daughter Beverly Dale told NBC Nightly News. "It was wrenching, lots of tears."
Then, something incredible happened.
Two days after Barnette was removed from the ventilator, Dr. Matt Wooten, an intensive care physician at Mount Carmel West visited her room, expecting to find a patient in her final moments.
Instead, she woke up and began speaking.
"She opened her eyes and started talking to me," Wooten told NBC News. "It's a miracle to me because I've never seen it happen."
Barnette, who remembers having a very severe headache and going to bed early, believes her recovery is a "miracle" and a sign of her strong will.
"I have a lot of determination," Barnette said. "I can be stubborn but I have determination to do things that I want to do."
The medical diagnosis still isn't clear, Barnette said. However, a sudden recovery in elderly patients, although rare, isn't unheard of, research indicates.
Right now, she's determined to gain strength and "treasure every moment with my family." Her family is enjoying the precious time they have with her.
"I think the most astounding thing was not the fact that she lived but the fact that she has all her faculties," said her daughter. "Her wit, everything. Her memories, everything's there."
Watch the video above for more on Eloise Barnette's remarkable recovery