27-year-old nurse Karen Miraflor of Clyde in Melbourne’s south east has been through an unexpected ordeal after contracting COVID-19 in late August, resulting in two hospital admissions.
Over a period of six days, Ms Miraflor developed symptoms including a high fever, severe headache and diarrhoea. She shares with The Philippine Times that she got tested for the COVID-19 three times in this period, and her results came back negative each time.
Ms Miraflor states that she needed to call an ambulance on the sixth day as symptoms worsened. “I started having chest pain, some upper back pain and trouble breathing.”
She was tested for COVID-19 a fourth time and stayed in hospital overnight where it was determined that she had pneumonia on her left lung.
Moments after being discharged, she received the devastating call from hospital that she tested positive for COVID-19, and her condition continued to deteriorate.
“My symptoms got worse and I started gasping for air every time I try to move. I didn’t have the strength to get out of the room. Walking to the toilet was like running a marathon, even getting up in bed I was gasping for air. I was getting tachycardic (130-140bpm), my oxygen levels would drop to 89%-92% if I go to the toilet.”
Ms Miraflor states that she has never had lung issues before, or underlying diseases. “I could feel the virus slowly taking over my body,” she stated.
“My fever was still the same and my medications was around the clock to keep my fever down.”
As a result she called for an ambulance and was admitted to hospital a second time. “I found out it had spread to my right lung. No wonder I felt like I wasn’t getting any better.”
Ms. Miraflor’s fever settled on the tenth day, however she continued to feel some shortness of breath. She was sent home to continue to rest for the remaining quarantine period.
“I have never been so scared for my family’s safety. I have prayed and prayed to keep my babies and my husband safe from the virus, considering how contagious it is,” she says.
“I have prayed to God that I am willing to take all the suffering if he can just spare my family from getting it, and I’m so thankful that he heard my prayers.”
The relief came this week, as all family members were tested and found to be negative.
Ms Miraflor is grateful for the support from her extended family who cooked food and dropped off groceries. Those from afar prayed continuously for the family during the past few weeks.
Even as case numbers decrease, she shares a message for the community: to take the virus seriously. “Family is really everything. COVID-19 is real! And I wouldn’t wish even my most hated person in the world to get it.”
“Let’s continue to adhere to the governments rules, stay safe, observe social distancing, wash your hands, and wear your mask. We will all get through this,” she said.
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