MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A Mid-South man shared what it was like inside the ICU, as he battled and conquered COVID-19.
Tim Green says his face-off with the virus was 17 days of both horror and human kindness.
Green flew to a week-long work conference in Charlotte on March 10, two days after Shelby County’s first COVID-19 case. When he returned home March 15, he felt odd.
“I was like okay, something’s off so then I went to bed,” he recalled.
The next day after returning home, the Whitehaven High graduate says he felt congested. Then, he started having trouble getting around, feeling out of breath.
First, he thought it was his asthma, but then his taste buds told him something different.
“I had lack of taste. I couldn’t smell anything, diarrhea, and just phlegm, phlegm in the, in the lungs,” he said.
Green called his doctor to get approved for a COVID-19 test.
“Doctors were able to prepare their PPE and get ready for me to come in,” he explained.
The flu test immediately came back negative and doctors sent him home to self-quarantine and wait two to four days for the COVID-19 results, but his condition declined.
“It was a week later and I still hadn’t heard anything about my results,” said Green. “So, then I actually went to the ER.”
Doctors decided to put him in ICU because of his symptoms. He said he has blacked out a lot of his harrowing experience.
“I do have PTSD from this, like it’s something like when I go to sleep,” He recalled a terrifying moment. “I go into the mirror in the bathroom. I looked at myself. I couldn’t see the whites of my eyes, they were red.”
He says the doctors and nurses reassured him.
At night, he could hear other patients screaming, coughing and coding, meaning they were going into cardiac arrest. One night, he says a nurse had a meltdown.
“She kept saying, ‘I did everything right. I had my gloves on. I was helping her. I did everything right,’ and I heard a male say, ‘You know it’s okay, it’s gonna be okay, everything’s okay,’ and she just started screaming that she did everything right. She starts crying and she hits the wall. It’s like she was, you know like screaming. She hit the wall and I could hear her sliding down the door, and the nurse nearby saying, like, ‘It’s gonna be okay.’ So she’s just like hysterically crying.”
Amid the horrors, he says he experienced great kindness.
“I had some fantastic nurses," said Green. "Some would come in and watch a show with me. In particular, Miss Shirley just took care of me like beyond the call of duty.”
Miss Shirley ended up being his discharge nurse.
Green is glad to be home, but he now gets anxious when he goes out in public.
“When I get in the car, my heart immediately starts beating fast,” he said.
He’s warning people to stay socially distant until there is a vaccine.
“How can you tell me not to go over here and kick it around my grand mama’s house when that’s what we do?” he asked. “We kick it in my house, but if you go over, be six feet apart and have a mask on.”
Green got his positive COVID-19 test result the day he was discharged.