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Whitley Co. family shares battle with COVID-19 diagnosis

Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 6:15 PM EDT
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WHITLEY COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - As we track Whitley County’s case totals lying in the red zone, a couple with the virus is sharing their experience.

Sheri and Alan Richardson tested positive for COVID-19 last week. The state’s Department of Public Health COVID-19 dashboard shows Whitley County has 674 total cases on Wednesday.

“The virus got us and it’s hit my family very hard,” Sheri said.

She said her family took the virus seriously from day one.

(Story continues below photo.)

A Whitley County couple is sharing their story of battling COVID-19.
A Whitley County couple is sharing their story of battling COVID-19.(Richardson family)

“When this all started of course we quarantined like the rest of the nation did,” Sheri said.

When her husband Alan started having mild symptoms, she immediately encouraged him to get tested and quarantine. 24 hours later, she had to take him to the emergency room.

“His oxygen level was 72, they put Alan in CCU, Alan has COVID in both lungs, he has pneumonia in both lungs,” Sheri said.

At the hospital, she feared the worst.

“I thought, ‘I may never see my husband again,’" she said.

Shortly after, Sheri started having symptoms. She tested positive and her children, Hailey and Ryan, were negative, but they became their parents' caretakers.

“This is very hard on my family. My husband’s in the hospital all by himself and I’m downstairs,” Sheri said.

Sheri worked at the health department for 25 years and Alan is a teacher. She said they took every precaution they could.

“The health department’s doing everything they can possibly do in this county, working overtime,” Sheri said.

She said it’s time for people in Whitley County to step up.

“Don’t wear the mask under the nose. Wear your mask,” Sheri said. “I may be a policeman from now on with this COVID thing."

The family matriarch said she knows her community is compassionate. And right now, the best way to show it is to take COVID-19 seriously.

Sheri says her husband is expected to be released from the hospital this Friday. She says doctors told her husband he will have a long road to recovery.

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