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‘Take this seriously’ -- Metro Detroit COVID-19 survivor shares her story

DEARBORN, Mich. – A Metro Detroit woman is sharing her coronavirus story in hopes others will take precautions to prevent the spread.

UPDATE March 29, 2020, 6 p.m. -- Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases total 5,524; Death toll rises to 132

“At the very worst part of it, it’s like you are underwater gasping for air and someone is ducking your head,” Rheamie Crenshaw said.

Crenshaw, a mother of three, was treated at Beaumont Hospital Dearborn. She was admitted on Thursday, March 19. She was released Wednesday, March 25 after recovering enough to go home.

“It feels like you are slowly suffocating while trying to breathe or even talk,” Crenshaw said.

She was put on oxygen after doctors confirmed she had viral pneumonia in both her lungs.

Crenshaw said her faith is what pulled her through her darkest hour.

On March 12, two days after the first cases in Michigan were confirmed, she said she felt pain in her leg and back and thought she was coming down with the flu. In addition to sweat and chills, she said everything she put in her mouth tasted like metal and salt. Days later, tests confirmed she had COVID-19.

“It does take a toll on your body,” Crenshaw said. “You have to fight through. I had to be persistent.”

She said she focused on prayer and staying positive.

When she was discharged from the hospital, Geno Crenshaw, her husband of 17 years, became so emotional, he got down on one knee and proposed to her again.

They plan to renew their vows.

“Please take it seriously,” Rheamie Crenshaw said. “Stay home. Do what you have to do.”

Doctors said she won’t be 100 percent for a while as her lungs have to get stronger.

She was told she needs to remain extra careful because the virus could come back. As a diabetic cancer-survivor with asthma, she’s is in the high risk category.

A fundraiser has been established to help the family pay for Crenshaw’s medical bills. You can donate here.

Question about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge here.

Anyone who believes they might have coronavirus should follow the CDC guidelines. Michigan.gov has a list of resources available to those concerned about COVID-19.

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