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OSF worker once skeptical of COVID-19 fears for her life after getting the virus

Jessica Archdale's views changed once she got the virus in November of 2020.

GALESBURG, Ill. — Jessica Archdale is a Quality Safety Regulatory Specialist at OSF Healthcare. 

"I was skeptical when COVID first came out. I thought it was for political gain and a lot of media exposure," she said in August of this year.

Archdale started feeling sick during Thanksgiving of 2020.

"My symptoms began during the middle of the week," she said. "I had just started sneezing uncontrollably. I just contributed it to there was some tree work being done at my neighbors house, and I have allergies, and I thought, 'Oh there's some tree work being done and these are just my allergies flaring up, it was just nonstop sneezing."

Saturday morning of that week, Archdale said she felt like she'd been hit by a truck when her mom called to tell her one of their family friends had tested positive for COVID-19.

"We were just around them that previous weekend," she recalls. "So it donned on me that, 'Okay well maybe I should go and get tested.'"

Archdale in fact had COVID-19 and was told to go home and isolate from her family. She began to check her pulse oximeter when it started to get low, and because of that, she went to the emergency room.

"Jessica came to see me in the clinic with persistent COVID symptoms." OSF's Dr. Jared Meeker said in August of this year. 

Meeker was the one who took care of Archdale after she got the virus. She had COVID long hauler symptoms. He says those have plagued a lot of people.

"80 percent of patients that end up with a COVID infection have symptoms that end up lasting at least two weeks," Meeker said. "In some people, the symptoms last up to six months or more."

Archdale stayed in the hospital for a day and then was sent home, but as we all know over the last year and a half, not everyone else's case has gotten better.

"After I had went home, our family friend had died," she said. "It really shook me to my core how quick it had happened, and how I was struggling to breathe, and I didn't know if this would affect me poorly or if I would need to be required to be on a ventilator or anything like that."

Still worried, Archdale started writing letters to her family, telling her husband account information that he may not have known before. 

"It was things that I felt like, if I am unable to speak, then I want you to know these things, so yes, it shook me to my core, so I was very scared," she said.

"Yeah, I did" she replied when I asked if she thought she was going to die.

On top of the coronavirus, Archdale had pneumonia. She went back to the E.R. a couple days later, but workers were able to treat her with steroids, and she was able to go home again. 

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