JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - COVID-19 numbers continue to grow in Arkansas and in Mississippi County, it is something an Osceola woman knows all too well.
Osceola City Councilwoman Sandra Brand has spent over two weeks battling the virus at NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital in Jonesboro.
Spending days in the ICU and her fight continues from the hospital’s COVID-19 unit.
“I wanted people to understand that this is not the flu. It is something much bigger than that,” Brand said.
At one point, she did not even know if she would make it out of the hospital alive.
“I, without a doubt, thought that I was dying,” Brand said.
She said she has been sick for over three weeks with symptoms like intense pain, cold sweats, chills, and headaches to name a few.
“I mean, just like you really, really feel really sick.”
Her condition got to the point where doctors used the drug Remdesivir and administered a plasma transfusion to try and help her recover.
“And I do think if they hadn’t done that, then I would be dead,” Brand said.
On top of that, she had to go through this in isolation.
“There’s no family. There’s no, they don’t even let aides come and help the nurses.”
She said you see somebody for maybe a minute or two every so many hours, because those nurses and doctors must protect themselves and the other patients.
Brand says she believes we all have to do our part to keep everyone safe.
“Until we know what’s really, what it’s really all about, is it is it really too much sacrifice that we’re just trying to take care of ourselves and wear, wear masks?,” Brand said.
She said before getting COVID-19, she would have voted no on making mask wearing mandatory in Osceola.
“Because, I don’t want government telling me what to do,” Brand said.
But, Brand now says there is nothing political about it. It’s about protecting your family.
“This is about life and death. This isn’t about some crazy politicians.”
It has been her family and friends back in Osceola who have helped her fight this virus.
“And so many of them, that just, you know, basically kicked me in the butt too because they’re like, you know, you’re stronger than this.”
And it has also been her faith in God that has helped her heal one day at a time.
“The fact that I believe that God reached down and gave me peace in that ICU room, and I believe that God, I would not for a moment be here today without him,” Brand said.
Brand said her doctors want her lungs to clear up from the viral pneumonia she developed because of COVID-19 before releasing her from the hospital.
Brand said Sunday that her latest COVID-19 test came back negative and that she is getting to go home after two weeks in the hospital, battling COVID-19.