'Oh God, please don't let me die like this': Ohio man describes what it's like to have COVID-19

Posted at 9:00 AM, Mar 20, 2020

A northeast Ohio man's condition has improved after the coronavirus sent him to the ICU.

When Scripps station WEWS in Cleveland first spoke to Kevin Harris, he thought his life was over.

"I was leaning over the side of the bed, throwing up, thinking out loud, 'Oh God, please don't let me die like this,'" Harris said.

Last week Harris learned he contracted COVID-19, but for days he just thought it was a bad flu. He finally decided he needed medical attention when he said everything "just hurt."

"I had body aches for a few days; I had dry mouth, my eyes hurt, fever, crazy sinus headache," he said.

When he first got to Mercy Health St. Joseph Hospital in Warren, Ohio, no one knew if he was going to get better, even his doctors. Harris said a doctor "shrugged her shoulders" when he asked if he would live.

"For two days, they did not know," Harris said.

Harris says the medial staff tried everything.

"Bags and bags of IV antibiotics, pills I've never seen the likes of before," he said. "They were giving me all kinds of stuff; they looked like big old horse pills."

The 55-year-old is finally out of the ICU. There is even talk of him being able to leave the hospital soon.

"I can sit up pretty good now, talk without losing my breath, I'm off oxygen," Harris said. "They're trying to get me ready to go home, but I can't walk too far without oxygen. So, they're trying to get my body strong and my lungs, trying to help build them back up and that comes with moving and walking and sitting up."

But even if Harris does get strong enough to leave the hospital, his journey won't be over.

"They want somebody to be there to take care of me, but at the same time, I've got to be in total isolation," he said.

Harris says he's so grateful he's getting healthy and looks forward to a full recovery.

This story was originally published by Amanda VanAllen on WEWS in Cleveland.