BOSTON — One young woman is living proof that the coronavirus has the potential to impact people of all ages differently.
She says it rocked her body with such intensity that she didn’t know if she was going to make it.
“I’m 25. I’m relatively healthy. I never thought I would get it,” said Kara VanGuilder, who is now recovering.
The symptoms that surfaced in early March would soon prove Kara VanGuilder wrong.
Three days of a fever and body chills subsided, but came back with a vengeance nearly a week later.
“Then all of a sudden, I just had a horrible fever,” she said. “I was feeling the worst I ever felt and was diagnosed with pneumonia.”
The doctor at an urgent care center recommended she get tested for COVID-19 at another location.
She says the debilitating pain and blistering fever made for an excruciating journey there.
“I’m sweating on forehead to the point that I’m having to brush the sweat off to see, driving down Storrow Drive,” she said. “I was crying, ‘Please help me.’”
VanGuilder, an otherwise healthy 25 year old who had been training for a 10k, tested positive for coronavirus.
In the days that followed, she says there were moments she thought she was going to die.
“I was like, ‘God please help me, I’m in so much pain, I don’t think I can take this another day,’” she said. “I had texted my mom twice and said, ‘I’m not sure if I’m going to make it.’”
She said, “The virus attacked my body so intensely there wasn’t anything more I could do.”
Weeks later in self isolation in her Medford apartment, VanGuilder is still feeling fatigued but hopes she’s seen the worst of it.
She says no matter your age, this virus is not something you want to take a chance with.
“I look out the window and I see some of my neighbors having happy hour,” she said. “They have their chairs together, they’re drinking. It looks fun. It’s not fun.”
“You should be staying home at all times unless deemed necessary,” she added.
VanGuilder, an administrative assistant at a local hospital who has no contact with patients, tells us she doesn’t know how she got the virus, but had been washing her hands frequently.
She just got re-tested for COVID-19 which came back negative, but tells us she’ll only be leaving her apartment for medical appointments because doctors aren’t sure for how long she is infectious.
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