ROYAL OAK, Mich. (WXYZ) — "I would not want my worst enemy to go through what I went through," said Holly Weissman. "It was so scary.”
Weissman is 47. She's healthy with no pre-existing conditions. She just wrapped up a five-day stay in the hospital with COVID-19.
“I really was scared for my life because I've never had any breathing problems before," Weissman said. "This literally takes your breath away.”
First, it was her husband. Then she and her daughter also tested positive the week of Thanksgiving. As they both began recovering, she got worse.
“I found out that people, when they are diagnosed with COVID-19, if you're going to get better you'll be better by day five," Weissman said. "By day six, that's when you have the potential to go downhill, and that’s what happened to me.”
As her oxygen levels dropped, Holly’s husband took her to the ER at Beaumont Royal Oak. It's the same hospital she has worked at for more than 15 years as a nurse practitioner, and where she spent the first few months of the pandemic helping COVID-19 patients on the front lines.
"Back in March and April, it was chaos,” Weissman said. "It was like ‘uhhhhh, let’s think about this, I’m not sure.’ I saw a lot of people getting intubated.”
As she thought back to those early days, she wondered if she would have the same fate as some of the patients she spent days trying to help.
“That totally crossed my mind," Weissman said. "I'm like 'oh my god, I'm gonna be this person who’s gonna be gasping for my last air as they’re like “I don't know, should we put her on the ventilator? What should we do?”
But today, she says that same floor is not what she remembered.
"I recognized the ER doctor and just seeing his face reassured me tremendously," Weissman said. "I looked at him and was like 'please don't let me die,' and he was like ‘don't worry Holly, we know what we’re doing now.’”
Holly was given steroids, oxygen and remdesivir. While the battle was tough, she got through it. Now she is sharing her advice for others in that same fight.
“If you do get diagnosed with COVID-19, take care of yourself. Really slow down, get your rest and get a pulse ox if you can, because I believe this really saved my life.”
A pulse ox measures the amount of oxygen in your blood and can help you determine when you need to seek medical help. You can purchase one for around $50 at your local pharmacy.