Northeast Ohio radio personality back on the air after battle with coronavirus

WNIR’s Jim Isabella caught it early, considers himself fortunate

Northeast Ohio radio personality back on the air after battle with coronavirus
Northeast Ohio radio personality back on the air after battle with coronavirus

Medina, OHIO (WOIO) - Longtime media personality Jim Isabella returned to the airways after a five-week battle with coronavirus, starting with a trip to the doctor for an annoying cough.

“I’ll never forget, the doctor burst in the room and she says, ‘Soooo, you got the coronavirus.’ I went, ‘Say what? Say WHAT?’ I was stunned. So I didn’t have time to be scared.”

Things happened quickly. He was given the antibiotic Z-Pak and moved into isolation at UH Parma Medical Center, while coworkers Bob Golic and Mark Richards were immediately quarantined for two weeks.

“I wasn’t scared during the time because things go, ‘BOOM BOOM BOOM,’ but when I think back to what might have happened, if they didn’t give me a Z-Pak before I ever went to the hospital, if I hadn’t made the appointment to see the doctor when I did because I only had one symptom at the time, a cough, it was a nasty cough driving me nuts, who knows? We might be discussing my funeral.”

Northeast Ohio radio personality back on the air after battle with coronavirus

Since doctors caught it early, Isabella avoided a ventilator and returned to the air Friday, surprisingly emotional.

"When I got on the air, through this whole five weeks I’ve been going through, I didn’t expect to be so emotional coming back. There’s three things I say every day when I get up: Lucky. Blessed. Grateful.”

Isabella’s show runs from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on WNIR 100.1 FM in Kent, broadcasting to Akron and Northeast Ohio.

He spent 20 years at the Sun Papers as a sport writer and another 10 at the Beacon Journal, also broadcasting on AM 1100 and WKNR, and doing play-by-play for the Crunch indoor soccer and MAC football.

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