LR healthcare worker tests positive for COVID-19 while treating patients in Boston

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A Little Rock woman is sharing her story about her journey with COVID-19.
She was working on the front lines out of state when she caught the virus and now she has a message for others.

Shenita Russell said she decided to help on the front lines with COVID-19. She chose Boston over New York at the time because there weren’t as many cases there but now that she’s experienced it herself, she says her perspective has changed.

“We were directly exposed to the COVID patients,” Russell said.

For more than a decade, Russell has been working as a registered respiratory therapist. So when the coronavrius hit the country, she went to help in Boston.

“My job is to manage life support, mange the ventilator,” Russell said.

Then she said the illness that she was fighting caught her.

“I woke up with a fever, of 103 and I start feeling shortness of breathe and I went to the ER and they immediatley diagnoised me with double pneumonia and COVID,” Russell said.

She had contracted COVID-19 just three days before she planned to come back home/

“I was nervous,” Russell said. “I was scared.”

She said she had all the equipment she needed, including personal protective equipment (PPE). She then woke up from a Coma a few weeks later, still fighting for her life.

“16 days later I woke up in ICU intubated,” Russell said.

Now she has started the road to recovery. She’s taking therapy and learning how to do things on her own again.

“I can’t raise my hands above my head, I’m having to learn to walk again, I’m having to learn to eat again,” Russell said.

As she works towards recovery, she is sharing her story on Facebook for others to know more about what she went through.

“I would tell everyone to please wash your hands and take it as serious as possible,” Russell said. “So I posted that for awareness to let people know that this is not a game and it’s very serious.”

Russell still has a long way to recovery. She said her doctors estimate she can return home soon and that she will be able to start work again next year.

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