Jamaican in Italy beats COVID-19 - Gets good news on his wife’s birthday

April 08, 2020
Shay Townsend
Shay Townsend

Shay Townsend is COVID-19 free. The 35-year old Jamaican, who has been living in Italy for six years, tested positive for the coronavirus on March 16 and endured the agony of isolation, the pain associated with the disease, and the fear of death.

Today, he comes bearing joyful news. "I am negative," he said with a relieving joy.

Townsend told THE STAR that he did the test last Thursday after three weeks of isolation. The results came back negative on Monday, which was also his wife's birthday.

"It's a blessing for me because I heard the news on my wife's birthday. I was very nervous because I have been in isolation for three weeks and it was not the best time of my life. I was worried that I might have to stay longer away from my wife and son. When I was talking with my doctor, I kept thinking I was going to get bad news," he recalled.

He wasn't confident of a good outcome, as he was still having a fever.

"When I found out I was negative of the virus, and he explained that the fever I'm having was due to the antibiotics that were previously prescribed, I was blank. All I could hear is that 'you're negative and your family can return home in the next three to four days'," he said. But then he burst into tears - tears of joy.

"I started to cry, knowing what I went through the past three weeks. This virus not only affected me physically, but it destroyed me mentally and emotionally as well. To know that I can go back to my normal life is a blessing. All I can say is thank you Jamaica, for all your prayers and well wishes, and thank God for the strength to fight and win the battle against the COVID-19," he said.

Words can't explain

Townsend is now anticipating the reunion with his wife and son.

"Knowing my family is coming home on Wednesday, I feel as if I'm a child waiting on my family to return from abroad. The happiness I'm feeling, words can't explain! All I can say is I'm blessed and highly favoured," he related.

Having fought and won the battle against the deadly and feared COVID-19, he assures people suffering from the virus that it is not the end.

"God is in control ... no need to stress. I know sometimes it's difficult ... you feel like each breath you take might be your last, but fight it. Focus on your kids or your family, and remember God is in control. To my fellow Jamaicans, please use this time to interact with your family and learn a new skill," Townsend said.

Approximately 1.4 million people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus since it was discovered in Wuhan, China, last November.

Of that number, more than 81,000 have died and 300,000 have recovered.

"Only way to stop this virus is to come together and obey the rules, so please stay home, Jamaica!" Townsend said.

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