Milwaukee COVID-19 survivor details near-death experience, losing father

Posted at 8:36 PM, Apr 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-11 10:39:40-04

MILWAUKEE — Adrienne Lathan is dealing with a major loss and overcoming COVID-19 all at once.

Now, she has a story of survival and a message to the general public.

"It felt like the flu, but it was the flu times ten," Lathan said.

She's now a COVID-19 survivor, but the journey to get there hasn't been easy.

"The first day I felt symptoms was March 18. I thought I just had a cold," Lathan said.

Initially, her symptoms felt like a common cold. Eventually, it would become much, much more.

"Physical pain. I was in pain from head to toe. The only thing not hurting on my body was my hands and my feet," Lathan said.

Lathan was admitted to a local hospital on March 25. She would stay for six more days.

One of those six days was almost her last as she's lost her breath and collapsed inside her room.

"When I came to, the response team was standing over me," Lathan said. "The nurse started talking to me, and he said he told me, 'We almost lost you.'"

"It's tough I'm recovering and healing and planning a funeral. It's hard. It's really hard," Lathan said.

Her 71-year-old father, Jerald, who had pre-existing conditions, was also diagnosed with the virus.

He died last Saturday.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office said he dealt with complications due to COVID-19.

She only could say goodbye via FaceTime.

"I knew once I said that to him, he would let go," she recalled.

As she moves on, Lathan hopes her story encourages others to stay safe at home.

"Yes, there are lots of numbers of people who have died, but there are also numbers of people who are survivors. And if you want to be one of those survivors, you have to take this seriously," she said.

So far, there are 1,634 reported cases of COVID-19 in Milwaukee County.

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