Covid survivor: “You don’t want it”


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – The effects of the coronavirus can run the gamut from no symptoms and the person not even knowing they have it all the way to death.

Two recent COVID-19 patients in the Springfield-area were willing to share their experiences and agree on one thing, you don’t know how it’s going to affect you so you should do everything you can to avoid it.

Erin Thomas is a Mercy ER nurse who ended up in his own emergency room as a patient in late September.

“I had unbelievable sweats and I had a fever of about 105-106,” he recalled.

Erin isn’t able to recall all the details of what happened over the next 11 days though as things got worse.

“I was coughing up blood,” he said. “I had blood in my lungs and I was on a ventilator for seven days.”

The father-of-three doesn’t know if he got COVID-19 at work or someplace else.

“I have no clue,” Thomas said. “The sad part about this disease is you don’t know who you’re looking at if they’ve got it or not.”

But he does know he survived the illness thanks to his coworkers who not only took care of him physically but also held a prayer vigil for him.

“I had the support of honestly, an entire hospital,” he said as he paused to collect his emotions. “It’s pretty amazing.”

Kary Stowe, meanwhile, has asthma and just got out of Cox hospital this week.

Her symptoms?

“I could not breathe. I could not open my eyes. I could not think to make a rational decision,” she said.

Kary’s COVID-19 experience actually started all the way back on Halloween and included multiple trips to an emergency room, one involving a nine hour wait. During her wait she would visit with other waiting patients about their issues with the complex illness.

“There are so many symptoms that are changing every day,” she said. “One woman in the waiting room hadn’t eaten for two weeks. I’m just glad that I lived and do not want to see anyone go through that experience.”

While Kary still has trouble breathing at times, she and Erin are doing well in their recoveries.

When asked what they wanted people to take from their experience with COVID-19?

“I want people to understand that it is not a joke,” Thomas said. “It’s not somebody making stuff up. I’m not political so it has nothing to do with that. It’s real. It affects people differently.”

Stowe is worried about a bigger outbreak as the holidays approach.

“I’m so scared to think of the families that are going to ignore this and get together at Thanksgiving because the healthy are going to insist on having a gathering,” she said. “It’s not O.K. It’s definitely not fake, it’s definitely not over, and it is definitely something that you should avoid for yourself and especially for your family.”

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