A local nurse who would have rather been on the front lines battling the COVID-19 virus for others, but had to battle the virus herself, is home and recuperating.
"I get to go home," Lutheran Hospital nurse Stacy Rodriguez, 33, posted on her Facebook page Saturday.
"There were days I didn't know if I would make it. I thought I was dying. I cried when I first left my family at home and went to the ER. I thought I would go here and die alone. I wanted more time at home with my family because of that fear," she wrote.
Rodriguez explained why she waited even though her symptoms, including a cough and low-grade fever, quickly worsened into breathing difficulties. Rodriguez said she started noticing symptoms March 16 but was working 16- to 17-hour days and chalked it up to the long working hours. Physically, she had no underlying conditions that could exacerbate the illness.
"I wanted more time with my family. I felt like when I walked through my front door that there's a good chance I may not walk through it (again). I sobbed my entire way to the ER. I knew it was beyond time I needed help. But I couldn't let go at home," Rodriguez shared with Facebook friends.
Rodriguez was admitted to Lutheran Hospital March 26. Her Facebook posts describe the harrowing experience she endured before beginning to improve a couple of days ago.
Rodriguez is thrilled to be home with her daughters and husband, Amanda Browning, Rodriguez’s friend who is a nursing student, said Saturday.
"She still has many hurdles to climb, but we are praying that the worst has passed. The main message everyone needs to see is how important it is right now to stay home," said Browning, who has been Rodriguez’s spokesperson.