PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Tuesday marked a grim milestone in the coronavirus pandemic as 200,000 fellow Americans have died from the disease.
Amy Ausley, a former anchor at News 13 and mom, got sick earlier this year.
At first she thought it was just a sinus infection but quickly things took a turn for the worse.
Ausley said she first felt sick in July but after eight days of sickness she ended up in an emergency room hoping someone could help her.
“I was scared. I felt horrible physically,” Ausley recalled. “I just had this terrible fever that wouldn’t go away. I coughed and coughed and coughed until I just absolutely could not breathe. I couldn’t get any relief from any of that.”
She was later admitted to the hospital and doctors and nurses went to work trying to help Ausley recover.
“It was seriously the scariest thing I’ve ever been through in my life and it was terrifying for my family,” Ausley said.
She was so weak she could barely take a phone call. She said at one point she turned to a nurse and asked if she was going to live.
“I looked at him and I said, ‘Am I going to be ok?’ And he was so comforting he was very comforting. He held my hand and said, ‘You’re going to be ok. It’s going to be ok.'”
Meanwhile, as Ausley tried to recover the hospital was busy with other coronavirus patients.
“They called code blue for the room right next to mine,” Ausley said. “And I just seriously I just laid in the bed and cried and prayed for whoever was on the other end of that because it was right next door.:
Ausley’s doctor prescribed a drug called Remdesivir but it took several days before it was in stock and could be given to her.
“Within 24 hours I felt better,” Ausley said. “I still felt terrible but I felt less terrible than I did and I was able to breathe a little better.”
She finally returned to work earlier this month. Although she feels better she says she still doesn’t feel back to normal.
“I get tired really really easy. I get short of breath from doing nothing practically, which is frustrating,” Ausley said. Her doctor is also monitoring her to determine if the disease did any long term damage to her heart, lungs or other organs.
Ausley said she has no underlying health problems and warns others to take this virus seriously.
“So you just don’t know how it is going to affect somebody. You absolutely do not know that your wife, your mother your brother your kids you don’t know what it is going to do to them,” Ausley said. “Just be careful and take care of people.”