DeSoto County coronavirus survivor: ‘It is real and people are dying’

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DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. — In a matter of days Jeanette Hollowell went from a busy real estate agent to a patient lying in hospital isolation, fighting for her life.

Her message to everyone: The coronavirus is serious.

“It was like flesh was gonna fall off your bones,” she said.

Three weeks ago, on March 12, she wasn’t even sure she would be around.

“I thought I was tired. I had been working extra hard,” she said. “I woke up Thursday with a horrible headache and I never have a pain any place and I was just aching all over.”

Hollowell went to the doctor thinking she had the flu. They did blood test for the flu and gave her a prescription.

Doctors sent her home, but it only got worse. By March 17, she had to call 911.

“It just kept getting worse and I kept getting weaker,” she said. “I was too weak to move basically for days.”

At Baptist hospital, the 75-year-old got the diagnosis — she had Coronavirus and bilateral pneumonia.

She was put in isolation and began treatments with anitbiotics, vitamins and minerals.
They moved her to another room with more isolation. The windows were taped up.

“I woke up long enough for them to give me my medication, which was something for nausea and to put me to sleep. I was sleep until the next round was due, I guess. I ate very little. Lost my sense of smell and sense of taste,” she said.

For 12 days Hollowell remained in isolation, no visitors. But slowly she began to feel better.

Sunday, March 29, she was finally released, thankful to walk out of the hospital, realizing so many others with the virus never did.

“It was painful. It was horrible. I hope that nobody doesn’t take it seriously, because it is real. It is a monster,” Hollowell said. “And you want to die. It’s ok because it’s so horrible.”

Hollowell knows she still has a fight ahead to be all clear and healthy. She remains under self quarantine.

Her message to others: “It’s not a joke. It’s not a joke. It’s not hype. It is real and people are dying.”

Hollowell has to successfully pass two more tests before she is given an all clear. She says after that happens, her next stop is to donate plasma so she can help someone else.

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