Tampa Bay Lightning national anthem singer Sonya Bryson-Kirksey was released from a hospital Friday to cheers from staff, a month after she was admitted with the coronavirus and complications due to pneumonia.
Bryson-Kirksey, an Air Force vet, was fully vaccinated when she tested positive for the virus but she has battled multiple sclerosis for years and has other underlying health conditions that make her susceptible, according to FOX 13 of Tampa Bay.
The singer was hospitalized soon after she celebrated the Lightning’s Stanley Cup championship with fans.
She had become a familiar face to TV viewers during the NHL team’s playoff run, belting out the anthem before the start of each game.
Bryson-Kirksey posted a tweet on Friday thanking everyone for their support while she battled the virus – alongside a photo of herself smiling in a car after her release.
“Thank you with all of my heart for every prayer, cards, food, letters, gifts, positive thoughts, well wishes, & donations,” she wrote. “My husband and I are grateful for every gift of love and for checking on he and I, while I was in the hospital.”
She credited the vaccine for her survival, urging others to get it.
“I know, I feel in my heart that I wouldn’t have been here if I hadn’t gotten vaccinated,” she said. “So get vaccinated, do the right thing.”
Sonya Bryson sings the national anthem before an NHL game at Amalie Arena on April 12, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. (Getty Images)
She had been in the hospital’s intensive care unit and described her struggle with the virus as “pretty bad.”
“I wondered if I’m going to be here the next day, but God got us to this point,” she told the station. “I’m a little tired right now, but I think I’ll be better. I’m ready to embark on this journey that to get my lungs back to where it needs to be.”
Lightning in-game host Greg Wolf tweeted Friday, “WE HAVE REASON TO CELEBRATE TODAY! Our beloved @SonniSings is OUT of the hospital today and will be going home! 30 Days in the hospital IS OVER! Welcome Home, Ebony!”
Wolf had previously tweeted pleas for prayers while she was in the hospital.