Cathy Kilpatrick: Now, I was there for 11 days and of those 11 days, seven of them, I was in ICU and that was not fun.
My name's Cathy Kilpatrick and this is my story on my COVID experience.
I had raised my kids here. My daughter lives here and her family. I couldn't live without her after this. She was such such a help to me. I could not ask for anything better. I had retired in October of 2013 and moved here and everything has been really nice. As far as retirement I'm really...was really enjoying it. Day to day, I live by myself, I've got animals and they keep me pretty busy. Then, all of a sudden, this coronavirus started hitting in March and, you know, we paid attention to the news and everything and what was going on. And then here comes July.
And I think I was sick for probably a whole week and I kept watching it. My daughter kept asking me all kinds of questions. Like, how do I feel and my symptoms and everything. And I really didn't think I had it. I was in denial because I didn't want to go the doctors and I didn't want to go to the hospital. And I think what it was was I was so scared that they would ventilate me and I've heard and seen so many bad things and no, ventilation is not a good thing unless it's life or death. And I just didn't want to go there. But eventually I, my daughter and I, both said if I wasn't better by the next day when we were talking that I was going and I agreed with her. So we went over to the hospital and I went in, in a wheelchair.
And then, I think my daughter was so scared because that's what happens when people take people there is that you say goodbye and you don't see them again cause they're quarantined. And that was her fear that when she said goodbye to me, that that would be the last time she'd see me. And so it really upset her, but they took me in and they did the test and I had it. That was on a Thursday afternoon. I was there for 11 days and of those 11 days, seven of them, I was in ICU and that was not fun. But I tell you what, the nurses and the doctors over there. I used to say, I wouldn't take my dog to Hutch's hospital and that was years ago, but I can't say enough about how wonderful and how good everything was that made me change my mind about the hospital drastically.
I had people coming in there just 24-7 checking on me. Of course the doctors came in during business hours, you might say, but they looked like they were going to the moon. You know, they were pretty well wrapped up so they couldn't get anything. But I tell you one thing, when I first was in there, I was upstairs in a room and then they took me down to ICU. When they took me to ICU, there were windows and I was on the ground floor and that was the best thing...medicine I put ahead because my family came to the window every night and talked to me on my phone while I looked at them while I laid in bed. And honestly that, if you could bottle that, that was the best medicine for me to see my family. And that weekend, that I was first there, I came really close to having a ventilator on. But, I told them when I went in, do not do this to me, unless it's a matter of life and death, what that they did was they brought in some frozen plasma, fresh, frozen plasma, and that did the trick. They put it in my IV till it was all gone and that was on Saturday or Sunday, I can't remember, the first week. And I was there and they told my daughter that if that hadn't worked the way it was, they would have had to ventilate me. So, that's why I'm a big advocate right now for, if you get this and once you get better to, to donate your plasma, because somebody donated theirs. Because of them, I got better. It's true. There's a lot of people that have it, but aren't effected very bad by it and walk around and don't even know they have it and then it's gone. But those people that do get it, they can go to different extremes. They can have it really bad like I did and then there's those that really have it so bad that they're in the hospital for months because they're on a ventilator and they're passed out. Each case is individually different. A lot of it has to do with your preexisting health problems. If you have any, it's not black and white.
Nick Gosnell: Did you have some preexisting health stuff?
Cathy Kilpatrick: I had a double mastectomy and chemotherapy in 2012. I've been doing great. I've been cancer free for nine years. I don't think I have any problems with that. Other than, you know, I go see my oncologist every once in a while, like every year or two, otherwise I was very healthy person. I'm back to normal. As far as I know, other than getting old and finding out your body doesn't work like it used to.
Nick Gosnell: Do you have any lingering effects from having had the virus?
Cathy Kilpatrick: It effects your lungs, plain and simple. I've read where, six to 12 months recovery, depending how bad, how bad you had it. And I believe that because I got out on the 27th of July and I needed oxygen here at the house. Two weeks ago, I took the oxygen back. I don't need it anymore. Like I say, I go outside and water, you know, my plants and everything. I have to come back in and rest for like 10, 15 minutes and to get my breath back. And once it's back, then I'm back on, you know, doing what I want to do. But, once I do something, a little exertion, which is normal for other people, it isn't for me because I have to, I have to sit and rest just to catch my breath better. It's gotten better. Every week gets better. So I know there's light at the end of the tunnel.
Well, I think it's just common sense. I mean, as far as wearing a mask, what else can you do? That's about it. And those places in town that say that you have to wear a mask. When you go in just wear a mask and be done with it. I mean, you don't have to freak out over it because well, some people do and they think it's a...infringing on their rights, not to if they don't want to, but it's just, it's just being nice not to spread your germs. That's all. And as soon as you get out of the store, take it off. But, I tell you what, I am not contagious. I'm not contagious. I can't get it anymore right now. I can't give it to anybody. And for me to wear a mask with my breathing problems, it's very, very hard for me. So, I don't go very many places, just to maybe the grocery store or my doctor and that's about it. I feel like wearing a T-Shirt going I can't give it to you, don't freak out.
Nick Gosnell: Do you have any idea where you got it from?
Cathy Kilpatrick: Yeah, I think it was my ex husband. He comes over once in a while and I fix him dinner and stuff. He works in Wichita. And I guess somebody at his job tested positive. So then the whole place had to go get tested. And I was with him a couple of times during the week prior to him finding out after he got tested that he had it, but he didn't have it bad. He was just like a carrier. So in hindsight, I don't know. I could have got it someplace else. Who knows? I mean, he was quarantined for 14 days at his house, but he never had very many symptoms other than a cough, and that was it. And he was fine. You know, I could get it. I could have got it from anybody. I can't blame it on him. The bottom line is just be courteous and wear a mask when they ask you to, and you know, otherwise your life's yourself, your own, you know, you can not wear your mask in your home or driving or anything. Tell you what, if you get it, I hope to God, you got family. Because, the family, my kids just totally sanitized my whole house. They threw my tootbrushes away, they threw my shower curtain away. They cleaned my, changed my vent and my heater, I mean, air conditioner. I mean they sanitized my house so much before I came home and it was, I mean, I don't know what I'd do without them. And there's so many people that don't have anybody and that's sad, because family is so important and having a good family is a blessing.