PHOENIX - An Arizona state lawmaker is on the mend after a tough battle with COVID-19.
State Rep. Lorenzo Sierra picked up the coronavirus in the Washington, D.C. area in September, and almost didn’t pull through. State Rep. Sierra's wife, daughter, and the daughter's boyfriend all caught COVID-19 at the same time. They still don’t know how they managed that.
The others recovered faster, but the 53-year-old lawmaker, who has type two diabetes, was in for the fight of his life.
"I guess the best word to describe it is grateful. I feel grateful to be alive," said State Rep. Sierra.
As of Oct. 23, State Rep. Sierra has one more day of quarantine after surviving COVID-19. At one point, he was on a ventilator and in a medically induced coma. He awoke the sounds of whispers.
“They were saying, 'Representative Sierra, can you open your eyes?'" State Rep. Sierra recounted. "As far as I knew, 10 minutes and passed and four days have passed."
Doctors at Johns Hopkins later told State Rep. Sierra that he had a one in three chance of survival. He was helped by heavy doses of plasma from previous COVID-19 patients.
"Had we waited to the next day to take me into the ER, I would not have made it," said State Rep. Sierra.
Now, State Rep. Sierra has a warning to anyone still not taking this virus seriously.
“When I was going to the hospital, I knew something was wrong, and I called my kids and had that conversation. Imagine what that would be like," said State Rep. Sierra.
State Rep. Sierra expects to come back to Arizona at the beginning of November. He says he will get back to work, bringing COVID-19 supplies, testing, and whatever else his community needs to pull through this pandemic.
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Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu.
Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever.
Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.
CDC Website for COVID-19
https://espanol.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html (In Spanish/En Español)
AZDHS Website for COVID-19