Mississippi 16-year-old who recovered from COVID-19: ‘I wouldn’t wish that pain on my worst enemy’

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BYHALIA, Miss. — A Mid-South teenager is feeling much better after a tough battle with COVID-19.

Tyrese Shead, 16, thought this year would be all about school, girls and getting his driver’s license. Instead, he got the coronavirus.

“I wouldn’t wish that pain on my worst enemy,” he said. “It’s something I never want to feel again in my life.”

The pain crippled him for more than two weeks. He said he started feeling sick on March 30, and when he woke up the next day, he was aching like he had the flu. So he saw a doctor near where he lives in Byhalia, Mississippi.

 “They told me I had strep throat,” Shead said.

But after nearly a week, he didn’t feel any better.

“I really started feeling tightness in my chest and short of breath,” he said.

He went to Methodist Hospital in Olive Branch, where doctors discovered he had pneumonia and tested him for COVID-19 before sending him home.

 “I felt horrible. I really felt horrible,” Shead said.

It got worse over the next 48 hours, so his mom Karanda took him to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, where the teen learned he tested positive for the virus.

 “To hear the word, positive, it was very scary,” Karanda Shead said.

It was particularly scary for Tyrese because he has pre-existing health conditions, including high blood pressure and a kidney disorder. Thankfully, he only had to spend one night at Le Bonheur, but the recovery process at home was long and tough.

“I had no taste; I had no appetite,” Shead said. “I lost about 30 pounds this entire month. … Three days ago was my first good day.”

It was an ordeal he never expected.

“I thought it was just older people that end up catching it,” he said.

It caught him off-guard, and now he’s eager for things to go back to normal.

“Like my grandmama says, when the world opens back up, I can get my driver’s license,” Shead said.

Thankfully, he said his family members are symptom-free and feeling fine. 

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