A Fox Point woman thought she did everything right to protect herself against the coronavirus but ended up in the hospital fighting for her life.
Tina Kreitlow called herself "hyper-vigilant" when it came to washing her hands and disinfecting things when she first heard of COVID-19.
She says her case of the virus started like many others. She thought she had a cold, then maybe the flu. But then a temperature of more than 104 degrees sent her to the hospital.
"Things really started to take a turn where my fever jumped up more, more significant shortness of breath," said Kreitlow.
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That's when her wife drove her to Ascension Columbia St. Mary's Hospital Emergency Room. But that was as far as they could go together. COVID-19 restrictions at hospitals have done away with visitors for now.
"Here I am not able to walk, not able to talk much, and I'm doing this on my own. I was just sitting out in the hallway, thinking I am not going to make it through this," said Kreitlow.
X-rays showed spots on her lungs, and doctors started to treat her for pneumonia. They also ran a COVID-19 test which came back positive. Tina was in disbelief.
"I couldn't believe it. I really thought I was doing the right things," she said.
While in the hospital, Kreitlow said she'd watch TV, and all that was on was the death toll from coronavirus, adding up daily. She says she feels like there are patients that are unrepresented in coverage. People like her.
"You're not seeing many of the people in between who sort of experienced what I experienced. It was a miserable four days on oxygen [with] spiking fevers."
Kreitlow spent four days in the hospital and is now at home recovering in quarantine. She made it a point to thank the nurses, doctors, and healthcare staff at Ascension Columbia St. Mary's Hospital for taking care of her and the other patients. She urges people to take the "Safer at Home" order seriously.
"At the end of the day, the right thing was to stay home. It's the only way we're going to get through this quicker," said Kreitlow.
She's unclear how she got the virus. As far as she knows, she did not come into contact with someone who had tested positive.