J’can has near-death COVID experience

April 06, 2020

A Jamaica-born woman who has been living in Brooklyn, New York, for 16 years, said she had a near-death experience when she contracted the coronavirus.

Karen, 49, said that she had no idea she would live to tell her story. She is now recovering in hospital and is warning her fellow Jamaicans to take the virus seriously.

"Jamaica listen to the prime minister, please. People are dying. I was on my death bead. It's just the grace of God," she said.

Karen told THE STAR that she started showing symptoms on March 20. When her condition did not improve, she got tested on March 26; she had the coronavirus.

She said that COVID-19 is unlike anything she has ever experienced.

Terribly dry cough

"My fever was through the roof and I developed a terribly dry cough. Every time I coughed, I felt like my throat was on fire ... like every cough come with a tear in my throat. I remember thinking to myself 'God just take me and done ... God just take me'," she said. The entrepreneur, who is also diabetic, said that her entire body was aching.

She added, "This is nothing normal. Believe me. When I had regular flu before, I was just hot and my temperature was high. With this (coronavirus), I was debilitated, my throat felt sore, massive headache and I had to be breathing through my mouth ... it's like my nose wasn't mine. Imagine having a completely stuffy nose. Every time I tried inhaling, nothing."

Karen wasn't able to eat hard food, so her husband was charged with supplying her with home-made natural juices at least twice a day.

"I couldn't swallow so I had to drink a lot a fluids and shakes ... thick peanut and oats shakes and fruit smoothies to strengthen my system. Thanks to my amazing husband. I was also drinking a lot of water and was just sweating it right out. In one day, I would drink five big bottles of water," she said.

Currently, she's feeling much better than she was days ago and her doctor continues to observe her closely.

"At present, I am like 55 per cent, which is a big improvement. Two weeks ago, I was on zero! I felt like I was never going to see my family again. I am better now and my doctor is monitoring my recovery," she said.

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