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Arkansas teen survives after fighting for her life on a ventilator battling COVID-19

Doctors gave 16-year-old Camden Tucker a 1% chance of survival after contracting the coronavirus and going into cardiac arrest.

SPRINGDALE, Ark — What started as a weekend fishing trip, turned into a COVID-19 nightmare for one Arkansas family.

Springdale 16-year-old Camden Tucker had doctors stunned by her diagnosis, and later, her remarkable recovery.

"I just didn't even know I was doing anything that was worth saying I was a miracle," she said.

RELATED: Arkansas Marine Corps veteran survives cancer several times, now beats COVID-19

It was two weeks that Camden Tucker has no recollection of. 

"I don't remember anything before, and even in the hospital, I don't remember a lot," she said. 

But for her family, it was a long two weeks spent holding onto hope, according to her father, Donald Tucker. 

"There was a 99% chance she was not going to survive, which as a parent, that's hard to listen to," he said. 

Donald said it all started on Sept. 19 when Camden went into cardiac arrest, quit breathing, and had multiple seizures during a family fishing trip.

"We pulled her out of the recliner and onto the floor, started doing CPR on her. I sent my wife, we didn't have any cell service, so I sent my wife to find a landline and call 911," he said. 

When Camden was first transported to the hospital in Mountain Home, the doctors said she had a 25% chance of survival. 

According to Donald, 25% dropped to 1% after she was diagnosed with COVID-19.

"That's the first time we had heard or knew about it. She wasn't acting any different," he said. 

The healthy high school dancer spent 14 days in the ICU at Arkansas Children's. 

Six of those days were spent in a coma while she fought for her life on a ventilator and suffered from heart and brain swelling.

A position Donald said no parent should have to be in.

"If she comes back, what form of her are we going to have? If that even happens, so all of that is just kind of heavy weight as you sit there and stare at her and try to remember her," he said. 

Now just weeks later, Camden is back to her usual high-spirited self, but physically she said she still has a ways to go.

"I get tired easily. Like even getting up to walk from the living room to my room, I'll kind of get out of breath," she said. 

The 16-year-old COVID-19 survivor wants to remind teenagers they aren't invincible, while dad wants Arkansans to be safe and appreciate what you have.

RELATED: After 85 days on a ventilator and 4 weeks in a coma, man survives battle with coronavirus

"Take the time to invest in your family and spend time with them because in a moment that could go away, instantly," Donald said. 

The family told us that Camden had open heart surgery when she was 5-years-old, but was completely healthy now.

If you'd like to help out the Tucker family, head to their fundraising page.

(Correction: We have added information that Camden had open heart surgery at a young age. She also two ablation procedures when she was around 13.)