COLUMBUS (WCMH) — During Tuesday’s coronavirus press briefing, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine was joined virtually by a physician in southwest Ohio who contracted COVID-19.
“Before contracting COVID-19, Jeff was healthy, active and strong,” DeWine said. “Now, as he continues to recover, thank god, after more than a month in the hospital, he says he anticipates he won’t be back to normal for awhile.”
Jeff said he began to feel fatigued starting March 20. He said he went to an Urgent Care and tested positive for COVID-19, but he didn’t meet any of the criteria for admission to a hospital, but he began to feel much worse on March 27 and went to a hospital.
“I was a pretty healthy person for 63 [years old],” Jeff said. “Pretty quickly the doctor told me I was going to need to be intubated and I went pretty much to the ICU . . . I was literally grasping for air.”
Jeff said the experience was a blur because he was under heavy sedation.
“My wife was probably a mess because when you’re dropped off at the hospital, you usually go into the hospital with your sick loved one,” Jeff said. “But they said, ‘Go wait in the parking lot and we’ll get back with you.’ So, that is one of the big problems with COVID-19. Nobody that you love can really be there.”
“The first weekend was very rough,” Jeff’s wife Tina said. “Just so difficult to be away from him and not be there to help comfort him and console him when he was going through all this.”
Jeff eventually spent an entire month in the hospital where he lost 50 pounds. He gradually improved and is back home now but still struggles with breathing and performing everyday tasks.
“It’s scary for me because I went through a traumatic event, but I would hope that people will do whatever is recommended to prevent furthering this pandemic,” Jeff said.
“The story reminds all of us why taking safety precautions for ourselves and for others is so very important,” DeWine said.