My Mom Almost Died From Coronavirus
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

I Knew The Odds Of My Family Catching COVID-19 Were Slim, But Then My Mom Ended Up In The ER

I know quarantine sucks, but we can't gamble with this one.

1889
I Knew The Odds Of My Family Catching COVID-19 Were Slim, But Then My Mom Ended Up In The ER

It was February 27, 2020. I went to sleep with no inkling whatsoever that it would be my last night in my college dorm for the year. I had no idea that it would be the last time I would be a junior at Ohio University in person. More importantly, it was the last time things would feel normal for what could be years.

I went to bed that night at 1:30 a.m. I was awoken a few hours later and felt compelled to check my phone.

After viewing the time, (almost 6:00 a.m.), I saw a missed call from my mom's boyfriend, along with a voicemail and a text. Before even reading the text or listening to the voicemail I knew it couldn't have been good. The text asked if I could call my mom's boyfriend back when I saw it and the voicemail said the same thing, only with a distraught sound in his voice.


My mom cleans houses, often at early times in the morning, so I was waiting for Mark, her boyfriend, to tell me that she got into a bad car accident or something. It was worse. She was rushed to the Ahuja Medical Center Emergency Room near Cleveland, OH via ambulance the day prior because she couldn't breathe on her own. I called Mark back, my head feeling foggy and my voice sounding groggy.

"Why didn't someone tell me yesterday?" I asked in a demanding tone, covering my fear.

"She knew you had a statistics exam and didn't want to worry you" Mark replied. "Can you get home?" He then asked.

My heart sank into my chest. If I felt anything at that moment, despite my body going numb, it was guilt. I had to get home — but I didn't know how to. I lived three and a half hours away, I didn't have my car on campus, and anyone going back to Cleveland for the weekend wouldn't be going home until the evening. Trembling, and feeling a mix of anxiety, panic, and self-hate I was able to find a bus ticket home that was leaving in an hour, pack my things, and email my professors that I wouldn't be in class.

Although I only live three and a half hours from my hometown, Cleveland, it took eight hours to get home. The bus had multiple stops and a layover on the way back. Finally, I arrived in Cleveland around 5:00 p.m. My mom's best friend got me from the Greyhound station and had told me more devastating news.

"One of your mom's lungs collapsed. They called a code blue, which is when someone is experiencing a life-threatening medical emergency, and had to sedate her and put a ventilator in her to breathe for her. She has some sort of infection, some strain of pneumonia, but all the tests they're running can't figure out which" she told me, merging onto the highway.

My mom (2018)Kaylee Smith


Shortly after I arrived at the hospital, they had given her a paralytic to paralyze her. Little did I know this is how she would remain for nearly two weeks, never significant signs of improvement.

I had told myself a few days in that she was going to die. I had to prepare for it. Now, I wasn't just thinking worst-case scenario. I could see the sadness in the doctors' and nurses' eyes when they would walk into the room and look at her monitor and charts. I could hear the hesitance in their voice as I would try to get any positive news out of them. On one occasion, a night shift doctor came in and sat down with me. He said he wasn't going to sugar-coat anything, and that she was in bad shape — and that I shouldn't feel guilty. I lost it. My mind reverted back to the day I found out the news about her and Mark telling me that she didn't want to tell me how ill she was feeling because of my statistics exam.

A stupid fucking statistics exam.

I felt all the guilt in the world. I cried in front of that doctor for a while.

I didn't leave that hospital except to go home and shower for nearly two weeks. I couldn't focus on anything. I would just stare aimlessly at her monitor during the night making sure none of her levels got too high or low. Then, on March 11, 2020, there was a change. One of the doctors wanted to try to bring her out of sedation and extubate her, as being on the ventilator any longer would cause significant tissue damage to her longs, so there was no other option. To everyone's surprise, it was a success. She was able to breathe on her own.

My mom lived.

She wouldn't be able to walk for another couple weeks and suffered from ICU psychosis (at one point thinking there was a shot of vodka under her pulse oximeter) but she was alive.

My mom, three days post-extubation Kaylee Smith

When she was extubated, COVID-19 became relevant. At the end of February when she was admitted, the hospital didn't have any testing kits because the severity of the virus was still unknown. Although, she had all the tell-tale symptoms: coughing, difficulty breathing, fatigue, etc. What I find most interesting, and also convincing, is how I previously mentioned all the tests the doctors ran to find out what type of pneumonia it was didn't come back conclusive with anything. We also live in Cuyahoga County, the county with the most COVID-19 cases in all of Ohio at the time. It now has the second-highest number of cases.

I remember at the end of January when I was going to come home for the weekend to see my grandma before she had spinal surgery, she had told me not to come because of this new "coronavirus" and taking a bus would be dangerous. I told her it'll go away like every new dangerous thing and that the media is just blowing it out of proportion.

The odds of me getting it, or one of our family members becoming infected, was slim to none. Well, my statistic didn't age well.

It's now been two months since I've entered a store or seen any of my friends. I am so paranoid about getting COVID-19 and I don't want any of my family members to become infected either.

Yes, it sucks. I miss my friends and boyfriend and being able to leave the house and go in public, but it's not worth it.

I thought the probability of me or a family member contracting the virus were slim to none, and then the probability of my mom living was slim to none. It's not worth it. Please, listen to medical professionals and social distance, wear masks in public, don't go out unless it is for work or other necessary things, and wash your hands. This pandemic is not a time to test the mantra "it won't happen to me."

Report this Content
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

303936
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

190564
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

92730
Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?

286101

Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.

172244

Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

114736
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Take A Look At The Extravagant Lane Woods Jewelry Collection For Valentine's Gift Ideas

So if you are currently looking to purchase jewelry for yourself or as a romantic gift for your S.O., you should definitely look at the marvelous and ornately designed Lane Woods Jewelry collection

335093

Just like diamonds are a girl's best friend, so are pearls, rubies, gold, emeralds, and any type of luxurious jewelry you can get your hands on! A woman is incomplete without a piece of jewelry on her and it is a gorgeous accessory required for all occasions. So if you are currently looking to purchase jewelry for yourself or as a romantic gift for your S.O., you should definitely look at the marvelous and ornately designed Lane Woods Jewelry collection.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments