FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A Lutheran Hospital nurse has been diagnosed with COVID-19. She doesn’t know where she caught the virus, but is being quarantined at Lutheran on oxygen.
Stacy Rodriguez, who has been feeling sick during the month of March, was rejected for coronavirus testing twice because a COVID-19 hotline did not consider her sick of enough to get a test.
Her symptoms progressed. On Monday, March 23 she called the hotline for a third time still feeling chest heaviness, dry cough, low grade fever, and shortness of breath.
“I reported my symptoms a third time and stated I am an RN with direct patient care and I feel my symptoms are bad enough now that I want to get tested,” she explained on a Facebook post.
She was granted an appointment that morning. She was tested for both the flu and COVID-19. She was diagnosed with the flu that same day and with COVID-19 three days later on Thursday, March 26.
Rodriguez is being quarantined as a patient at Lutheran.
“My oxygen needs have been increasing,” she explained. “I need to be on a minimum of three liters of nasal canula. I am continuing to have coughing fits which are more frequent and harder and harder to breathe afterwards. I have entire body aches. My left sided chest pain is the worst. It hurts constantly. I feel miserable every second I am awake and guess what… I am always awake.”
Rodriguez’s co-worker and friend Amanda Browning told WANE 15 this should be a severe reality check to everyone.
“It’s definitely very scary,” she said. “To have someone so close to us actually have something like this happen to them, it’s scary. Especially when you hear all the frightening reports that come out about COVID-19. But to hear from her perspective what’s happening, it really put things into perspective of why everybody needs to stay home and just protect themselves.”
Rodriguez has been put on several medications and supplements including an anti-malarial drug called Plaquenil and an antibiotic called Z-pack.
She reported feeling slightly better on Tuesday, but her doctor tells her she’s “not out of the woods by any means yet.”