“It doesn’t affect anyone the same,” said Liz Coon from Hoopeston, whose 9-month-old son Keene got COVID-19.
"Some don’t have any symptoms, while others get very ill. It’s important to understand that just because it doesn’t affect you severely, it’s terrifyingly affecting some. Use caution and consideration when it comes to the virus.”
Coon posted a video on Facebook of her son coughing to show others what he was experiencing.
“I did it for awareness,” she said. “My baby didn’t have a choice to wear a mask or not. He was the one person I didn’t want to get it because he was born prematurely. I was concerned for his little lungs and immune system. He was very sick for 14 days.”
Keene was lethargic with a reduced appetite, odd diarrhea and a cough. The cough persisted and worsened, and then he got a fever.
“I felt it was important to share, to open eyes, and make it more ’real’ to our community. People commented that they were praying for him. It broke their hearts to watch the video and they hoped he would recover soon.”
Overall, it took him a month and a half to fully recover from COVID-19. Some symptoms lingered, like a reduced appetite and cough. But now, Keene is back to his normal self.
“Keene is the happiest boy,” Coon said. “He loves elephants, oatmeal, veggies – except for avocados – and to chew on teething toys. He smiles with his whole face.”
Coon commends her pediatrician’s nurse Kim Houmes, RN and Kelly Loewenstein, nurse practitioner – both work at Carle Danville on Fairchild – with the guidance they provided her.
“They were amazing at telling me what to watch for,” Coon said. “I was told to keep him drinking, keep an eye on his diapers to make sure they were still wet, the signs of respiratory distress and fever management tips. I couldn’t have asked for better medical care from Carle.”
Harry Brockus, Carle Richland Memorial Hospital president, spent six days in the hospital with COVID-19.
“I had a shortness of breath and went to Richland’s Emergency Department,” Brockus said. “They were anticipating my arrival, but I couldn’t be tested right away. Twenty-four hours later, I was admitted to Carle Foundation Hospital because my oxygen levels kept decreasing.”
Brockus’ wife and son tested positive the day before he did. It took him about three weeks to recover.
“The fatigue lasted about a month after that,” he said. “I read a study about how some people with COVID can’t remember anything, like 38% suffer from memory loss. I don’t remember most of my stay in the hospital.”
Brockus and his family continue to follow the same precautions they were before getting sick – social distancing, wearing a mask and washing hands.
“The care I received from Richland to Urbana was amazing,” he said. “No one is exempt from this. Even if you are healthy, you need to be thoughtful of others. I’ve been open with my staff about it. It affects everyone differently and others die.”