Stories of Hope

My Personal Experience With Covid


It was December 2021, when my wife and I traveled to our home town to visit family. While there we contracted covid from a family member who was unwittingly carrying the virus, by day 3 several of us were starting to feel flu like symptoms. By the time we were leaving the virus had infected all of us. On the day before our departure, I was experiencing cold spells and my body was aching and weak. I could not taste or smell. We knew we had to get back home as soon as possible. My wife was beginning to develop symptoms and she was facing a 10-hour drive back home, as I was in no condition to drive.

On the day after our return home, we called the doctor, unfortunately it was New Year's Eve and they were long gone, their offices would not open again until the following Monday, four days later. We knew we were taking a big risk not having medication, giving the virus an edge.

On the 4th of January, weak and beaten, we called the doctor. My situation had developed into pneumonia, and my right lung was fully infected, oxygen levels were in the low 80's and dropping. Upon hearing my doctor's urgent orders to head to the hospital, I told him, absolutely not, the hospital is where you go to die. He said, if you don't go, you're going to be in serious trouble, you need oxygen.

What went through my mind were all the stories that I read about; patients with covid taken to hospitals only to be put on ventilators and die. I had no choice, I either stay home and die, or I follow my doctor's orders and hope that he's right.

Upon arriving ER, I barely made it to the front desk, I mustered whatever strength I had and whispered to the receptionist, I can't breathe, she quickly checked my oxygen level, startled at the low reading, and quickly ordered attendants to rush me to the ER.

I spent a total of 4 nights in the hospital, sequestered in the covid ward. This meant that once I was wheeled in, I could not come out until they said so. I was terrified, I knew this could go horribly wrong. I clutched my mobile phone and charger, knowing that I needed a way to communicate with the outside world as things unfolded.

It was late in the evening when I was admitted and wheeled into a private room and left to sleep. By this point, I had not eaten a full meal in about a week, I had lost 25 lbs., and my body was not functioning.

As I lay there, my first thought was, I may die. Not having ever been in a life or death situation, I was now faced with the inevitable. For a moment I reflect on a thought that I had had a few weeks before, at the time I was feeling very positive about things. I thought to myself how would I handle a medical hardship like those my friends were experiencing. I asked myself, "will I be strong and courageous like my friends, or would I be weak and cowardly?" Well, I didn't have to wonder any longer, because I was now faced with my very own hardship. So, my question had become a reality, how will I handle it? I thought about my vulnerability and how quickly things can go from good to bad. It was at this point that I started conversing with God and our Blessed Lady. Terrified at the thought of facing death, all thoughts entered my mind and for a fleeting moment, I thought should I beg for my life, should I make a vow and barter with my Lord. Immediately without hesitation I had my answer, I was not about to approach God as a barterer, no, I said to myself, ashamed at the mere thought. I told my Lord, "I put myself completely in Your hands, have mercy on me, and may Your will be done." I asked our Blessed Lady to hold my hand and guide me, wherever that might be as she had instructed in Scripture - "Do whatever He tells you" John 2:5. I knew I was ill prepared to face my Maker, but I didn't want to disappoint Him, and I resigned to accept whatever I deserved. I felt a certain peace come over me, and all of my fears vanished, something spoke to me, saying don't worry, don't be afraid.

My oxygen level was not improving, still hovering in the low 80's, and this was making me very nervous. I knew that if I could not produce oxygen on my own, doctors would put me on a ventilator, which would spell disaster. I struggled throughout the night trying hard to get my oxygen levels up.

Early that morning, I dragged my legs to the side of the bed, and sat there for hours, during the night I had drawn up a set of milestones that I had to achieve. The first was to sit up on the side of the bed, second up, and finally walk. My ultimate objective was to be able to walk on my own and hold 90 so I could be discharged. All I wanted was to go home and be with my wife.

So, that morning I worked on the milestones, while gasping for air, and with oxygen levels low, I fought for every step I took. During my walking, the head nurse slammed the door open, terrified, expecting a heart attack, I caught sight of her and asked what's wrong, she said, we saw your heart rate climb to 160, as she stood there watching me walking, she understood. I tokd her I am ok, let me walk. I must have walked the room for a couple of hours. It was at that point that I knew I could beat this thing.

On Sunday the respiratory doctor paid a visit, he could see the improvement, and after some discussion I convinced him to discharge me. I called my wife and both of us started crying tears of joy and gratefulness for answered prayers. How I longed to see her again. As she drove up, I thanked our Lord, Jesus Christ, for giving me another chance at life.