REDFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (FOX 2) - Chilah Harper didn't think she'd survive the coronavirus.
But she did and now this 43-year-old mother from Redford Township is sharing details about this very tough fight that she won.
“I'm feeling about 65 percent well physically, but I’m 100 percent spiritually,” she told us Monday, three weeks after her symptoms started March 16.
“My fever was like 103. I had terrible body aches – paralyzing body aches. I had a headache,” she said.
Seven long days later, awaiting her Covid-19 test result, she drove herself to Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak.
“I started having the shortness of breath, and the shortness of breath it was more than that. It was like I couldn’t breathe; it was more than just the shortness. I absolutely couldn’t breathe, like I was being strangled."
She says she didn’t want to call EMS because she wasn’t sure where they’d take her. Knowing she’d already been tested at Beaumont, she decided to drive herself there.
“It was a nightmare driving there because I felt myself tanking all the way there.”
She says she was placed on oxygen almost immediately and could still then barely breathe.
“In emergency, I was freezing. I was having restlessness of my legs; it was a nightmare. I thought I was going to die. And I actually told them that I was just too tired. I was tired.”
So sick and scared, and making matters worse was the fact her children and family could not visit.
“It broke my mother's heart. She didn't cry in front of me but she cried in front of the rest of my family.”
Finally, Chilah had a turnaround on day five in the hospital.
“I decided that I wanted to live and I fought through it and I started wanting to do things independently because at that point I wanted to go home. I wanted to come home.”
After nine days in the hospital, Chilah was able to go home.
Chilah is now so grateful to so many, especially for those working so hard to keep Covid-19 patients alive.
“It was hard for them to see sick people and some people were not getting well, you know. You know some people were getting transferred to ICU, some people were dying, and this is what they described as I was getting better. But they didn’t show it. They just showed persistence; they just showed compassion. Even though I had the infection they didn’t treat me like I was an infected person.”
She's so thankful to the Beaumont doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, dietary staff, housekeeping – the so many people who cared for her.
Chilah is a nurse technician at the John Dingel VA Hospital, where she believes she was exposed by a coworker. Her daughters have both been tested and their tests came back negative.
Chilah wants everyone to be aware of dangerous home remedies you might see on social media.
If you have symptoms, she urges you to contact a doctor.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are among those particularly susceptible to more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover.
To protect yourself, wash your hands well and often and keep them away from your face. And if you do go out in public for essential groceries or prescriptions, it's advised you wear some sort of face covering. Asymptomatic people could be spreading the disease unknowingly.