Bermudian man in US hit with Covid-19
A Bermudian man in the US is recovering at home after he tested positive for Covid-19, The Royal Gazette can reveal.
Gerry Collins, a former engineer, said on social media on Thursday that he had the virus.
He wrote: “OK don't panic, I have tested positive for Covid-19, I am to remain at home right now and I am getting a new breathing machine.”
The 66-year-old, who lives in Grantville, Georgia, has multiple sclerosis, has survived three heart attacks, undergone brain surgery and lost a lung due to blood clots.
Mr Collins, who splits his time between Georgia and Bermuda, said: “I came up here in February to attend several doctors appointments.
He added: “Two of those appointments were cancelled.”
He added his wife, Michelle, was at home in Bermuda.
Mr Collins said he thought he caught Covid-19 at a church service in Grantville less than two weeks ago.
He added: “We are a very huggy church. While we were singing, my friend stood behind my wheelchair and put his hand on my shoulder.”
Mr Collins said the pastor warned the congregation to “be careful” and hug less and highlighted hand sanitiser dispensers in church.
A member later became the first in their county of Coweta to be given a Covid-19 diagnosis.
Mr Collins said he noticed symptoms a few days afterwards, including sinus congestion, a dry cough, swollen glands and a fever that went up and down.
He added: “There was pus coming out of the corners of my eyes.”
Mr Collins said his remaining lung started to hurt and he went to a hospital in nearby Fayetteville to be tested.
He added: “There were no cars in the parking lot. They had a security guard stop me at the entrance.”
Mr Collins was directed to a tent and drive through testing area outside the hospital.
He said: “I pulled up in my car, rolled the window down and the nurse put the swab up my nose.”
No one he came into contact with after the church service has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Mr Collins added he awaited the arrival of a nebuliser that would help him breathe.
He said: “I haven't had a fever for two days now.”
Mr Collins added he was in better condition than the friend who gave him the virus.
The man, although he was younger and in good health, is in hospital in an induced coma on a ventilator.
Mr Collins added he did not blame his friend after he was hit with Covid-19.
He said: “How could he know he had it? And he gave it to me before this all really blew up.”
Mr Collins added he had faced death several times in his life because of earlier medical problems.
He said he was reliant on his religious faith to stay calm and positive.
Mr Collins added: “What's the worst that could happen? I get to see my Jesus?”
He said he had spent much of his time on a seat in his yard playing guitar.
Mr Collins also thanked family and friends for the messages of encouragement and love that had poured in since he announced he was ill.