DETROIT (FOX 2) - Monique Morris works as a nurse at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and is a frontline hero. But Morris says her memories of nearly dying from COVID-19 still get her emotional more than a year later.
"Just being alive, I just think being alive because we saw a lot of death during the pandemic," she said.
Morris says she got the coronavirus caring for Covid patients in March 2020. It started with shortness of breath and body aches.
Less than 24 hours after her diagnosis, Morris was on a ventilator for nine days.
"It was very scary," she said. "If I could use one word - it would be traumatic."
When she woke up, Morris spent several months learning to feed herself and do other things we take for granted. Her long hauler symptoms continue to this day.
"You just know you don’t feel like yourself," Morris said. "Between the shortness of breath ... I can walk around fine right now. At one point I couldn’t walk. I had advanced from that to a walker, to a cane. Now I’m getting my mobility back."
Now as Covid cases creep back up and concerns over the Delta variant grow, Morris hopes her story serves as a reminder for us to continue to take Covid-19 seriously.
Morris said the patients who are in the hospital and critically ill, are unvaccinated.
"Within days to less than 24 hours I was on a ventilator and we can still see a testament of those same type of Covid infections that later not just being intubated, but lung transplants heart transplants," she said.
Morris says she also works to educate those who are still hesitant to get the vaccine - one of their biggest reasons is misinformation online.
"If we are not taking the initiative to educate ourselves or get the information we’re looking for, to make that decision, the hesitancy is more of a becoming a life or death kind of decision," she said.
Nurse Monique Morris
While Morris still struggles with her COVID-19 trauma. She says she has a new appreciation for her role as a frontline hero. she has an even bigger appreciation for her colleagues she credits with saving her life.
"I put all that energy into being the best that I can be, in the capacity that I have as a nurse, as a gratitude of what they’ve done for me," she said.