COVID-19 has the potential to become a dangerous virus, but reports show that most people who contract COVID-19 ultimately recover. As of April 11, 2020, more than 372,000 people around the world had recovered from COVID-19.
“Eventually, if all goes well, your immune system will completely destroy all of the virus in your system,” explained Tom Duszynski, director of epidemiology education at Indiana University- Purdue University Indianapolis.
And although it’s too early for scientists to evaluate COVID-19 recovery in the long-term, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said recently that he was “willing to bet anything that people who recover are really protected against re-infection.”
In the midst of so much frightening news and uncertainty, we can all look to these patients’ success stories for hope and inspiration.
29-Year-Old Recovers After Four Days in ICU
Lequawn James, an ER nurse and fitness buff, got sick on March 6 with a runny nose. He didn’t suspect trouble, since he showed no signs of cough, fever, or shortness of breath. A week later, however, “all the sudden I was having body aches, tremors, like you could have two quilts on me and I was still cold,” James said.
He checked himself into an Atlanta hospital and was soon diagnosed with COVID-19 and pneumonia in both lungs. His symptoms worsened rapidly as James was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. Fortunately, his medical team helped his lungs and heart grow stronger. After 10 days in the hospital, James was released.
“Just as in fitness, how everyone’s body responds to a diet a certain way, a workout a certain way this virus is the same case,” he shared. “You have no idea how your body is going to respond to this virus and I had no idea this was going to happen to me.”
San Diego Musician Recovers in Quarantine
Musician and bartender Drew Andrew of San Diego, California shared his story on Facebook and Instagram after being diagnosed with COVID-19. He first noticed the loss of taste and smell, then experienced a fever and dry cough.
His test confirmed a COVID-19 infection, so he remained in quarantine throughout recovery. But the musician never lost his sense of humor through the ordeal. “Had some pizza today,” he reported on social media, “and seemed to really shrink up the breathing range, is now sorta alarming. Going to put out there the suggestion to not eat dairy when you’re sick on this thing.”
After he was cleared by his county and the CDC, Andrew came out of quarantine and shared a message with reporters: “It’s not just that I came down with COVID-19; it’s that I have an elderly father with Alzheimer’s that- he’s the demographic for who wouldn’t been infected if I had spent time with him- it’s necessary to make changes in your culture, your community, in your family, to adapt to this situation.”
First Female Patient in Florida Recovers in 12 Days in Self Isolation
Sports therapist Kaelyn Sheedy was the first female patient to be diagnosed with COVID-19 in Florida. The 29-year-old traveled to Italy in late February, shortly before the United States declared COVID-19 to be a national health emergency. Her symptoms began on the flight back home, and the CDC instructed Sheedy to self-quarantine immediately.
Sheedy shared her journey on Instagram, posting in mid-March, “I tested positive for COVID-19 and recovered in 12 days!” She never needed to see a doctor face-to-face, but remained in daily contact with a doctor and scientist from the epidemiology team at the Florida Department of Health.
According to Sheedy, “This virus is going to affect everyone differently, this is just my experience. It wasn’t terrible. I hope this helps.”