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DRAPER – Tuesday was an exciting but nerve-racking day for a Corner Canyon High School teacher who returned to the classroom for the first time since ending up in the intensive care unit with COVID-19.
Just over four months ago, Charri Jensen was fighting for her life hooked up to a ventilator. But on Tuesday, she walked into her Corner Canyon classroom just after 7 a.m.
"Home away from home," Jensen said in a coworker's video. "I haven't been here in over four and a half months. I love this place."
It was back on Sept. 10 when Jensen tested positive for the virus. Days later, she was on a ventilator fighting for her life in the ICU. No one knew if she was going to make it.
"I'm really humbled. I must have something more to have to do here, is what I keep saying. Trying to figure out what it is," she told KSL.
It's clear from all the get well cards and signs as to why "Mama J", as she's affectionally known, is here. To do what she does so well — teach.
But this 15-year teaching veteran admitted it wasn't easy stepping back into the classroom.
"A lot of tears this morning. A lot of happy tears, scared tears," she said. "I am going into the place that made me the sickest I've ever been in my life."
But all it took was seeing the faces of the students and those she loves, for her fears to go away.
"They are so cute. They just sit there and look at you like, I can't believe that you are here," said Jensen. "It's humbling to know that many people were cheering you on."
Yes, "Mama J" is really back, back with a new perspective on life.
From September 2020:
"It doesn't matter what car you drive or what house you have, it's who you are as a person," said Jensen. "I can't even describe how my heart feels or my mind feels. So many people have touched my life for the better."
Jensen told KSL she got a COVID-19 vaccine last week and that does bring comfort. She still has to use oxygen during the night and while she drives, but other than that, her health has returned.