Briefs: AZ woman home after long COVID hospitalization

PHOENIX - A woman who spent seven months in a Phoenix hospital being treated for COVID-19 is urging people to get vaccinated.

Finally back in her Glendale home, 55-year-old Claudia Patterson told KNXV-TV this week that she wonders if her ordeal would have been less severe had she been vaccinated.

Patterson went to St. Joseph’s Hospital in July and had to be put on a ventilator. She says she was sedated for two months. She was then placed on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation or ECMO, a machine that takes over respiratory function.

“There were times where I just said ‘God just take me,’” Patterson said.

She was on the verge of needing a lung transplant and “flatlined” four times. Doctors now say Patterson is strong enough to continue therapy and treatment from home. “I wouldn’t want my worst enemy to go through what I went through,” she said.

As of Monday, 3,526 people statewide were hospitalized for COVID-19. Of those, 616 were in ICUs.

Sheriff: Hiker killed in fall while taking photo

APACHE JUNCTION - A hiker camping on a peak in the Superstition Mountains east of metro Phoenix was found dead after apparently slipping while taking a photo and falling hundreds of feet, authorities said Wednesday.

The body of Richard Jacobson, 21, was recovered after a hiking companion called 911 at approximately 12:45 a.m. Monday, the Pinal County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

Jacobson's body was found nearly 700 feet below where the hikers were camping on top of Flatiron near Lost Dutchman State Park, the office said.

An Arizona Department of Public Safety helicopter helped recover Jacobson's body, the office said.

2 arrested in vandalism of Tucson grade school

TUCSON - Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the vandalism of a Tucson elementary school, according to police. They are facing charges of burglary, arson and felony criminal damage.

Tucson Unified School District officials said more than 60 windows were broken early Tuesday at Annie Kellond Elementary.

They also said that a fire was started on the school’s roof, but was contained to the kitchen area.

KOLD-TV reports the Tucson Fire Department is assisting in the arson investigation. Kellond Elementary was closed Tuesday for cleanup and repairs.

Remains of a Florence man found

FLORENCE – The remains of a 91-year-old Florence man who was reported missing four months ago have been found, Pinal County Sheriff’s officials said Tuesday. The remains of George T. Robinson Sr. were located last weekend about a mile from his car after a multi-agency search.

He was reported missing on Sept. 23 after failing to return home from a drive to a store in Coolidge.

Six days later, Robinson’s car was located almost 200 miles away on the Kofa Wildlife Refuge in La Paz County but there was no sign of him.

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