COVID-19 survivor shares story of her battle and now makes PPE for others

FOX 2 continues to bring you stories of people who have recovered from COVID-19. 

One Harper Woods woman made it through even though she was very ill at one point and now she's paying it forward by making masks.

Pamala Pettigrew got bad news while she was in the hospital with COVID-19. She had been running a fever for a while and even though she was improving, she says the doctor delivered a message that was terrifying.

"He said, 'Well you know this disease is fatal, people don't usually do well with it if they can't get rid of their fever.' Mind you, I had a fever for five days," Pettigrew said.

Pettigrew says she had been tin the hospital severely dehydrated, not eating and diagnosed with COVID-19.

"When they admitted me they told me I had pneumonia in my left lung," she said.

Pettigrew had lost her mom. She decided to go home and she quarantined there, while hoping to recover. 

"When I got home, I was so sick, I couldn't even stand up," Pettigrew said. "My husband practically had to carry me up the bedroom stairs."

She continued to improve and was spurred on by the thought of her children and kind notes from her family.

"We have a family group page, they said we can't visit her, let's send a picture of ourselves as our visit," she said.

She realized there was so much she could do to pay it forward with masks, making them after seeing the lack of protective gear in the hospital.

"It got to a point where nurses and doctors were sharing PPE, they were sharing face masks and face shields," she said. "Once I got out and I did my 14-day quarantine, I started to feel better every day. I've been sewing for some time. I wanted my family to be safe."

Nothing has deterred her. Pettigrew's sewing machine broke, but she's got it back up and running now and is making masks for people who need them.