WEST ALLIS — The second patient admitted to the Alternate Care Facility in West Allis says she's getting better thanks to the medical team there.
A few weeks ago, 34-year-old Amanda Best said she went to the emergency room and found out she had COVID-19.
Best didn't get better. She went to the emergency room two more times and was diagnosed with double pneumonia. The Appleton woman also has asthma and says, "it hit her all at once."
Last Tuesday, doctors asked her if she would be willing to go to the Alternate Care Facility at State Fair Park in West Allis. At first, Best said she didn't know what that was.
"I was scared going in here too, and honestly I'm so thankful I came here," Best said.
Best arrived at State Fair Park in an ambulance. She was the second of just three patients admitted. She said everyone was ready for her—she saw plenty of doctors, respiratory therapists, nurses and CNAs.
"I feel like I'm VIP in here, honestly," Best said. "I could not have asked for better care."
According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the Alternate Care Facility is for patients like Best—who aren't severely ill but still need medical care. The facility has 530 patient spaces.
Best says she is a patient relations advocate at ThedaCare and says she sees first hand how stressed hospitals are.
"I definitely see how busy it is and how hard they’re working, so I think that was another reason," Best said.
Last week officials announced the facility could start giving patients the now FDA-approved antiviral treatment, Remdesivir.
Best said she's gotten five doses of it, and said her fifth should be her last.
"I can tell you from when I started getting it Wednesday to today, I feel like a whole new person," Best said.
Best says she connects with her family and loved ones via FaceTime every day. She also says the food is really good.
Patients can stay at the ACF for as long as they need at no cost. Officials say it is covered under the CARES Act.
"The fact that I don’t have to worry about that, and knowing that it’s covered, and I'm getting the care, better care, than I actually could before, that makes it that much easier," Best said.
Last week, the Wisconsin Hospital Association told TMJ4 it's been tough to find patients willing to go to the ACF.
Best says if you fit the criteria, you shouldn't think twice.
"The people inside are truly the miracle workers," Best said. "They are a Godsend. They will have you healed, they will have you doing exactly what you need, they'll be there, give you the care you need."
Best said she hopes she can go home to Appleton later this week.
State health officials said another patient admitted to the ACF last week has already been discharged.