CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - COVID-19 has taken a heavy toll on Cleveland Clinic workers, with hundreds of them getting the virus in the past few weeks.
Now an ICU nurse turned COVID-19 patient, hospitalized with the virus is documenting her journey as she fights for her life.
Kate Thompson is a wife, mother, an ICU Float Nurse on the front lines of the COVID fight, and now she’s battling the virus herself. Hospitalized and writing about her journey as nearly 1,000 of her fellow nurses at Cleveland Clinic Hospitals fight to survive this pandemic.
“I have had end of life conversations saying if I end up on the ventilator for more than a week, what I want them to do for me,” Thompson said.
Thompson has been ill with COVID-19 for 28 days, and she’s been hospitalized for 9. The 39-year-old ICU Nurse at Cleveland Clinic - Akron General, is being treated ironically at the Cleveland Clinic in Dover where her nursing career began 7 years ago.
“I could not catch my breath and I knew at that point I could no longer take care of myself at home anymore,” Thompson said.
The Massillon woman had 22 days of fever, and now COVID pneumonia.
Thompson tells 19 News, “My breathing status has gone down today, we don’t know why. My lung volumes have gone down today. And so we are looking to see if I potentially have a blood clot in my lung from COVID now.”
This nurse turned patient is documenting her coronavirus journey on her Facebook page, and she lists everything from her dry coughs, that were the first symptom to Day 14 where she had a 102.6 temperature. On Day 20 Thompson tells her loved ones and friends in a post that she gave up and was admitted to the hospital after being so weak in the show she couldn’t move or breathe. On Day 24 Thompson says she was treated with the drug Remdesivir and it finally brought her fever down.
“I took Remdesivir which is an antiviral and it was a success for me,” according to Thompson.
But she’s still unable to breathe on her own, and says she is still in the fight of her life battling a virus we know so little about.
“So, I am scared every day. It’s very real because I have seen people who are up laughing with their family one day – and the next day they’re on a ventilator. So it’s become very real,” Thompson tells 19 News.
The very reason why Thompson is not only a voice for herself as a patient with the coronavirus, but a voice for her fellow nurses as she logs her journey on social media each and every day. Begging everyone in the community to minimize their risk of catching coronavirus by wearing a mask, washing their hands and faithfully using sanitizer.
“It is insulting for healthcare workers to see people on social media saying it’s not a big deal. There are social, health and financial consequences from COVID. I’m fighting for my life,” Thompson said.
Thompson says she is fighting to get better so she can see her family again, and she wants to go back to the COVID Unit at the hospital, to help others survive.