‘I suffered’: Johnston County man shared COVID-19 experience, thanks hospital workers he says saved him


CLAYTON, N.C. (WNCN) – A Clayton man recovering from COVID-19 wants to thank the doctors and nurses who helped save his life.

Alfonso Tarazona said he first started feeling lightheaded after traveling to New York. Over the next couple of weeks, he had headaches and felt like he had a fever, though he didn’t have a thermometer to say for sure.

It wasn’t until he was in the emergency room in Clayton with a sick family member that he asked a nurse to take his temperature.

“I had a fever of close to 103 and I was shivering,” he said. “They took a chest X-ray and came back with the bad news that I had pneumonia.”

He said he then learned he had coronavirus.

“I suffered,” he said. “My bones hurt. I felt like somebody was torturing me. If I were a boxer, I went 12 rounds and got beat to a pulp.”

He was moved to a hospital in Smithfield and kept on oxygen while in isolation.

“There were times when I didn’t know if I was going to make it,” he recalled. “I was just preparing myself to think of what I could say to my family. What you want to leave as a last message; the last words they’re going to hear out of your mouth.”

Tarazona is grateful it didn’t come to that. He was able to go home after several days in the hospital.

“I am very thankful. I thank God. I thank my family,” he said.

Tarazona wanted to especially thank everyone who works in the hospitals that cared for him — from the infectious disease specialist, to the cleaning crews, to the nurse who first took his temperature.

“I owe her a super gratitude beyond what I can think. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her,” he said, also noting the compassion of Dr. John Adams. He said that even in isolation, the doctors and nurses made him feel like he wasn’t alone.

Although this virus is isolating everyone in some sense, Tarazona hopes it will also give people a new perspective.

“Be thankful for what you have and thank others. And God bless everybody,” he said.

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