HARRISBURG, N.C. (WBTV) - A Harrisburg woman is recovering from the coronavirus and now she wants others to take it seriously after a frightening experience.
“It’s terrifying to think about, you know, the last time you saw your family and what you said to them. The last FaceTime that you had with them. You look and you have oxygen on and you can’t breathe. You know, really there’s nothing to talk about except how scared you are and that you love them,” Haden Keziah of Harrisburg describes how frightened she was as she fought COVID-19.
For Hayden, this all started with just feeling a little tired and rundown. She thought it was just stress, a relocation move for a new job, or maybe her trip to Colorado tired her out.
But in a matter of days.
“I could hardly breathe,” the 28-year-old described in an interview from her parent’s home in Harrisburg where she is still recovering.
On March 24, those aches and pains came with chills, and a cough. Then she was gasping for air.
"My mom took me to get checked out,” Hayden said.
Before she knew it, Hayden was in the first ambulance of her life, afraid and alone.
“The infectious disease doctor had the results for my swab (test) and said, ‘We know it is confirmed now that you have it,’” Hayden said.
Within a matter of hours, her condition worsened.
To protect the medical staff, she was alone, except for those coming in to help with her breathing treatments, checking vital signs.
At this point, no more teleconferencing with doctors. This time, the doctor entered her room.
“Your oxygen is getting worse. You’re requiring more oxygen. You’re not getting enough oxygen in your lungs and we think you’re going into respiratory distress,” Hayden says she was told.
"They had a whole team of people teleconferencing together outside my room about whether or not I should stay or go to the ICU. Because my status was getting worse instead of getting better. So that was tear was terrifying," Hayden remembers.
"For an infectious disease doctor to tell me that she's worried about my condition. You really kind of take a step back. And I was so isolated in that room," she remembers.
So much was happening so quickly, and Hayden was very sick. But because this virus is "novel", or new, she says they didn't know how to treat. her.
For those healthcare heroes trying to take care of patients with this new virus, it was a struggle.
She is grateful they kept her alive, but Hayden, who was about to start a new job in healthcare management before she got sick, says she wishes there was a way the country could have prepared for this.
"It was just all these moving parts and not having any concrete answers about what’s happening to me when I’m going to get better. If there’s any treatment at all. You know, it’s all so experimental. It feels like you’re a lab rat, laying there like, let’s try this antibiotic, but it’s a virus. They’re talking about doing treatments that they found on Twitter or they found on any other internet websites, talking to other people in different countries, what worked for them, but it’s not the same symptoms for everybody,” Hayden said.
She admits, when news of COVID-19 first broke, she wasn't scared of getting it.
"I was one of those naysayers who was like, ’Oh, it’s just, it’s just a flu on steroids. It’s not going to be a big deal’. I really did not think that it was going to be as serious as it is. I certainly didn’t think I was gonna get it. And that it would get as bad as it did. I’m 28. I’m generally a healthy person. But I’m in the hospital. I can’t fight it. I need help. And to think about all of those vulnerable people out there who are not able to be protected and people who are not listening to these directions that are being given. It’s just, it’s infuriating,” Hayden said
Hayden will be starting a new job in New Bern, North Carolina once she gets the all clear and is free to follow her passion as an administrator in a nursing home. Her heart is with all the elderly, who are so vulnerable to this disease.
“Please wash your hands and stay home! It really doesn’t get more simple than that! Listen to the guidance we’re being given.Think about what you would feel like if you were lying there in the hospital and you were completely alone and it’s terrifying. It doesn’t get any more earth-shattering then that moment when you’re sitting there and you know that you have an illness with no known cure,” Hayden said.
While her mom Sarah Moore, was being treated at home, she told Hayden how her story had been shared all over the country. She is grateful for every single prayer.
“It was really touching it to see how many people were really actually reaching out and thinking about me, praying for me. I think it helped obviously a lot since I’m home now. Um, I’m feeling a lot better. I’m not 100%, but I’m getting there,” she said with a hopeful smile on her face," Hayden said.