Eufaula resident Renay Hurst is happy to be preparing to celebrate a special Christmas and New Year’s.
Hurst, a recently recovered COVID-19 patient, was unsure of her future when she was diagnosed and hospitalized with the virus.
She said it was her faith and the care of the doctors, nurses and staff at Medical Center Barbour that allows her to look forward to the holidays.
“Dr. Surber was wonderful, the ER staff was wonderful. The nurses on the third floor, the ICU nurses...they were all excellent," she said.
"I will be the first to tell you how good it was…I was surprised at the good care. Not that I thought they were incapable, you just assume usually that you get better care at a bigger hospital.”
Hurst was hospitalized at Medical Center Barbour for a week, and her condition was severe. She said she had little symptoms before being diagnosed.
“I started out that Sunday, before I got diagnosed on Wednesday, tingling all over. I actually went to the emergency room in Dothan, because I was coming from Enterprise to Dothan, and I went there thinking, ‘Oh, my God, what could this be?’ she said.
"They said my electrolytes were out of whack and then they sent me on, because I had no fever or anything. Then a few days later, I didn’t feel good, and there were several of us at work that didn’t feel good. That next day, I went in to the doctor because I started really feeling sick, and I didn’t have any fever still. But, by the time I got back to see the doctor, I had fever. It kind of felt like I had the flu.”
Hurst, who had been following safety precautions, was shocked when she learned her illness was COVID-19.
“I was wearing a mask at work and I was using hand sanitizer, but there were five of us who caught it at work. We all wear masks and everything. There were two people who were around us watching a training video at work, and they did not get it. My grandchild sleeps with me every night, and she did not get it. My daughter was there, and she did not get it. It’s weird how some people can get it and others don’t.”
After her frightening experience with COVID-19, Hurst reflected on what she wants others to know about the virus.
“I would tell people to stay vigilant about wearing a mask and washing their hands," she said. "But you know, I am a Christian, so I believe God had a purpose for me in keeping me alive. I still think you’ve got to do what you’re supposed to do.
“I have asthma, and it’s hard to breathe in a mask, but I wore my mask because that’s being responsible. I kind of was thinking God wasn’t ready for me to come home yet because, I’ll be honest, when I was in the hospital, I really made my peace with God. I was like, 'I am fixing to die here.'
"My oxygen level kept dropping so low, and I couldn’t even get off the bed in the ICU without thinking I was about to pass out. I was just so weak — no energy, no strength.”