Milwaukee mother of 14 'whooped the mess out of coronavirus' days before 89th birthday

Opal Neal

MILWAUKEE -- An 88-year-old Milwaukee woman was released from the hospital after a weeks-long, life-threatening battle with the coronavirus. After a long and emotional two weeks in the hospital, Opal Neal's family finally got to see her in person Sunday, April 26 -- gaining strength at a rehabilitation facility.

It was a day for song and celebration, with masks not muffling the musical family preparing to see their matriarch for the first time in weeks.

"We just want to hurry up and see mom," said Martha Johnson.

"She went to the hospital on Good Friday, April 10," said Melesha Spears.

Opal Neal

When times were tough, as the mother of 14 battled COVID-19, her family leaned on their faith.

"She went through stages of declining, and on a ventilator, and having problems with her kidneys," said Spears.

"We have prayers in all kind of places -- praying for her," said Johnson.

"She whooped the mess out of coronavirus," said Delores Neal. "You hear me? Yes, she did."

Opal Neal's family celebrates her release from the hospital

Opal Neal

As Bell Ambulance transported Opal Neal to the facility, family tried to keep their distance -- their hearts full.

"She is the queen," said Delores Neal. "When she speaks, all of us listen."

She sang along as she listened to the harmonizing voices of family.

"I have no doubt my mama is going to be fine," said Johnson.

Family said they believe Neal contracted COVID-19 at a facility where she was previously living. They said Sunday she was in good spirits, talking and walking again.

Opal Neal turns 89 on April 28. Happy birthday!