Thrive by IU Health

August 17, 2021

Hindsight can be 20/20 when it comes to COVID-19

IU Health Arnett Hospital

Hindsight can be 20/20 when it comes to COVID-19

As they say, hindsight can be 20/20. And that’s just what Shameka Neely, a Lafayette mother of a 15-year-old son and 23-year-old daughter, recently experienced.

Shameka Neely

On the morning of Tuesday, July 20, Neely woke with a scratchy throat and a slight dry cough. Initially she wasn’t alarmed. She thought it was from sleeping with a fan on all night. On Wednesday, July 21 she felt extremely tired and still had a cough. That night, she came down with a fever of 101°—the highest fever she thinks she’s ever had. Her daughter told her that if she wasn’t feeling better by the next morning, she should probably be tested for COVID-19.

“I got tested on Thursday and was surprised to find out I was positive for COVID,” said Neely.

Prior to July 20, Neely was on the fence about getting a COVID-19 vaccination. She read lots of different media reports and social media posts and decided not to get the vaccine.

“I got through the whole pandemic [in 2020] and did what I needed to do to protect myself and my family,” she said. “I went to work every day and survived all last year, so I didn’t get the vaccine.”

Neely, who works in the financial industry, was scheduled to go back to work on July 30, the end of her quarantine. COVID-19 had other plans. Her symptoms worsened.

“I knew work wasn’t going to happen even though I was taking the meds and extra vitamins,” said Neely. “I could barely breath on July 30 so I had my daughter take me to the hospital.”

Neely’s oxygen levels were extremely low and she was admitted to IU Health Arnett Hospital. A battery of x-rays, tests, treatments and even a CT scan were run throughout her stay. At one point she was at high risk for blood clots. She found it difficult to do simple things like walking.

Thankfully Neely didn’t need a ventilator while she was in the hospital and was able to go home on Aug. 9. However, her treatment continues after her 10-day hospital stay. She went home with an oxygen tank and has a lingering cough and fatigue. She’s not yet well enough to return to work.

COVID also kept her from her son’s football scrimmage in early August.

“I’m ready to do little things like shopping for groceries,” said Neely. “I still don’t have the energy to do that.”

Since being hospitalized with COVID-19, she’s decided she’ll get vaccinated and will get her teenager vaccinated.

“Though my situation in particular wasn’t as severe as some others, I do believe that if I had been vaccinated before catching COVID, my case wouldn’t have been as bad,” shared Neely. “I won’t try to change anyone’s mind but for myself and my family getting vaccinated is important.”

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