WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — As Americans across the country celebrated the 4th of July yesterday, there are still almost three million Americans battling COVID-19. As of July 3rd, Wichita County had 425 cases and 18 hospitalizations. Here is an experience from one hospitalized patient, Pattie Peterson, currently battling COVID-19 in the United Regional critical care unit.
“It progresses every day. I have fever chills, a headache that won’t go away. Throat pain, nausea and vomiting that I still can’t keep under control,” Peterson said.
Peterson is a nurse. Like other nurses, she had to take extra precautions against COVID-19 for her job and for her family. But unfortunately, she still contracted the virus.
“I started getting a headache and ear pain and sinus pressure on June 24th on a Wednesday. And I went to my doctor on the 25th and I was tested and my positive covid test came back on the 26th on Friday.”
Peterson then had to quarantine herself. But as her symptoms progressed, she was admitted to the critical care unit.
“I think the hardest part of this has been only being 29 years old and staring at a ventilator in front of you and signing papers and the choices you never thought you would make at 29 years old,” Peterson said.
Peterson has also had to be away from her family, including her 2 daughters and her niece.
“I’m really close with my girls. They don’t have any symptoms and I try to keep distance and it’s hard because my youngest is three and she doesn’t understand why Mommy can’t hold her. Mommy can’t lay her down in bed and Mommy can’t do things that I do every day and that’s the hardest part of all of this,” Peterson said.
As a nurse for assisted living and working with dementia patients, Peterson has seen how the coronavirus can even affect those who have not contracted it.
“They already don’t understand what’s going on and you have to walk into the room with face shields, mask, gowns. And they think they’re in their home setting and they’re at home and yet they have people coming at them looking like almost a surgery procedure. I’ve had residents that have cried that are scared of us and they miss their families and they feel abandoned.”
Even with those precautions and staying home when possible, Peterson says she’s proof that anyone can get the coronavirus.
“I take care of myself. We take our vitamins at home. We take our precautions and obviously it doesn’t work always. And I pray for anyone else out there that’s struggling with this.”
Peterson has a GoFundMe page that people can donate.