‘I feel extremely lucky’: Man hospitalized with COVID-19 shares his story of recovery

Medical Watch

To say it’s difficult to deal with COVID-19 is an understatement. And those who’ve been there and battled back know firsthand.

John Troy had just returned from a business trip in New York on March 14 and wasn’t feeling well.

“I had a fever of almost 102. I had headache, a sore throat, coughing,” he said. “My body ached. I was freezing cold no matter what I put on and I was just extremely lethargic. And just felt like I had walked into a wall, to be honest.”

He said that lasted about a week.

He called the COVOD-19 hotline at NorthShore University Healthsystem and was soon admitted to the hospital.

“I was there 12 days. It was a pretty lonely existence,” he said. “There were machines all over the room. It was negative pressure, so the air went up and out into the atmosphere.”

While his headaches and dizziness worsened, the 70-year-old grandfather, who has high blood pressure, said he never felt he was in grave danger.

“I feel extremely lucky,” he said. “I got a mild form of the disease. I could hear the people in the rooms on either side of me and they sounded like they were having a much more difficult time than I was. They were coughing and hacking.”

In the short term, the severity of illness ranges, even in those most at risk like Troy. When it comes to the long-term complications in COVID-19 patients, much is still unknown. But there is hopeful news even for those who require ICU care and mechanical ventilation.

Dr Neil Freedman is a pulmonary and critical care physician at NorthShore University HealthSystem.

“Overwhelmingly most people will get back to or pretty close to what we would consider normal,” he said. “They may have some residual scarring on an X-Ray or CAT scan, but from a functional stand point -meaning what they can do on a daily basis, those types of things shouldn’t have significant effects.”

During Troy’s hospital stay, there were daily visits from his doctors, but his constant companions were the nurses.

“They would talk to you – it was almost like you were extended family,” he said. “They would take the time, not only as a caregiver, but like a friend that would sit and talk to you and chit chat. They really helped I mean they did a tremendous job.”

It was a very humbling experience … and something I wouldn’t wish on anybody. But just do the best you can and hope you get through it and pray that you do get through it. And thank the nurses and doctors as they take care of you

Doctors say while there is still a lot to learn about COVID-19, they do know some patients have fevers for up to 14 days and can have cough shortness of breath fatigue and weakness for several weeks.

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