Nova Scotia woman shares her COVID-19 story before entering ICU
A photo of Krista Hughes, long before she was admitted to hospital. (Photo submitted by Krista Hughes)
HALIFAX -- Forty-nine-year-old Krista Hughes agreed to share the story of her COVID-19 symptoms, diagnosis, and hospital admission in a series of texts – her voice, too weak for a phone or video interview.
The office manager, wife, and mother of two girls was admitted to the COVID-19 unit at the Halifax Infirmary last Monday, April 19, after suffering symptoms over the eight days prior.
At the time of her conversation with CTV News, she was on oxygen and said she had developed COVID-related pneumonia.
Hughes got tested for the virus as a precaution, thinking her initial symptoms were simply seasonal allergies. She also has asthma.
"When the call came I was in shock," she wrote.
"The fatigue is the worst part," Hughes wrote late Friday afternoon. "Deep breaths are difficult and painful."
Hughes told CTV News she doesn’t know how she contracted the virus.
"We’ve led a very quiet life the past year," she wrote. "We stayed in our bubble, we didn’t go out a lot, we were very careful."
"I worked through the pandemic, some of it from home, while homeschooling [the] kids," added Hughes.
Her daughters are aged nine and 13. Hughes said her husband works in retail so he has been on the frontlines during the pandemic.
At the time of her communication with CTV News, Hughes said she didn’t know if she had contracted a COVID-19 variant – as test results take several weeks to come back from The National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg.
When asked how she felt about those failing to follow pandemic health protocols, Hughes said, "it’s disappointing."
"It’s not just the person who gets sick that is impacted," she wrote. "It’s their family, friends, and contacts they may potentially expose."
Her family is self-isolating and going through multiple rounds of testing. Hughes said her friends and neighbours have been a godsend.
"Our neighbours are taking amazing care of the family with meals and goodies that’s taken so much pressure off." She’s been using technology to stay in contact with her family and friends, and as a way to see her children.
Hughes also had praise for health-care workers.
"I can’t praise the healthcare team here enough," she wrote. "The team are very diligent about safety...There’s a lot of pressure on these individuals and yet they continue to deliver care with compassion."
Hughes also explained how a virtual care team responded to her case as soon as she tested positive.
"It’s how they were able to respond so quickly to changes in my condition," she wrote. "The system is working."
When asked how she was holding up emotionally, Hughes replied: "Of course I worry, but I’m just taking it day by day."
Sunday, a friend of Hughes confirmed she was moved into intensive care on Saturday.
"She has improved slightly in the ICU," said Anita Kirkbride in a message. "We’re all just praying for her recovery."