TRUMANN, Ark. (KAIT) - While growing up in Oklahoma, Diane Chambers suffered from asthma. As an adult, she was diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and severe Fibromyalgia.
“I’ve had a lot of medical issues that I never thought I’d face. But, this one has been the most difficult," Chambers said.
That one, Coronavirus.
Diane said her fight to recovery is her toughest battle.
“I just felt like something wasn’t right," Chambers said.
What was supposed to be a normal schedule appointment with Dr. Stephen Woodruff, Chief Medical Officer at NEA Baptist, quickly turned into a video call appointment for Chambers after her temperature was abnormal.
Woodruff told her to go to a drive-thru testing site on April 3, although she said she hadn’t been to many places other than to get her horse feed. The night before, she enjoyed time with her grandchildren and husband. All of that in the back of her mind as she waited on her results.
“I got my results back on April 9, and it came back positive," Chambers said. “I really didn’t expect that. You know, it was really a shock.”
She lives in a rural area, on the outskirts of Trumann and she thought she was safe from it all. While she was still amazed that she received positive results, fortunately, her husband’s and grandchildren’s tests came back negative.
With no cure, Dr. Woodruff advised her to take it easy.
“He said you know you really just need to get rest, you need to take Tylenol to keep any kind of fever down,” she said.
But, she claims her fever rarely was high and as she tried her best to rest, days ran together.
It wasn’t until one day she felt her throat closing up.
“I made my husband promise not to call an ambulance. One of my worst fears is being intubated," Chambers said.
Her husband, Bo, then made calls to her children and other family members for what she thought could have been her last goodbye.
“I just wanted to tell them that I love them because I really thought that I was going to die that night," Chambers said.
But, in the midst of those “two-second” calls, her sister in Oklahoma initiated the call to 911 for help.
“If they hadn’t done that. I don’t know if I would be here today," Chambers said.
She says the ambulance had arrived in minutes and she remembers the paramedic dressed in P.P.E. asking if they had permission to take her to the hospital. The only thing that changed her mind was her husband asking her to “not die here in my arms.”
She recovered that night and on May 1, the CDC officially cleared her from having the virus. But, life has been everything but clear.
“I really don’t feel that COVID patients that have recovered should be bullied," Chambers said.
She says now she’s dealing with another battle. Not only is some of her family and friends avoiding her. It’s also paining her to see people not believing that this virus is legitimate; however, she says “it is real.”
Now, being on the other side of this tragedy, she’s calling for everyone to take it seriously. Asking everyone to wear your mask, stay six feet away and use precaution.
In the end, no matter what you believe, do what you can to protect the ones around you.
“Follow the CDC guidelines, protect yourselves, protect your families. If you love them, protect them," Chambers said.
She is considering donating her plasma to help in the fight to cure coronavirus.