'It can happen to anybody’: Albany coronavirus survivor shares her story

Albany, Georgia coronavirus survivor Terrica Parks (Source: WALB)
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) -- A 28-year-old Albany woman spoke out from her hospital bed at Phoebe Main, after she contracted coronavirus.

Terrica Parks wants people to know it doesn’t matter your race, age or religion — anyone can get it.

“I had the flu before in the past and they say flu-like symptoms, but this felt 10 times worse than the flu. It felt like I had a tractor-trailer sitting on my chest. I couldn’t do the simple things. Like the way that I am talking now, I couldn’t do that five days ago,” Parks said.

Said Parks: “This disease doesn’t have a name. It doesn’t have a color. It doesn’t have an age. It can happen to anybody. I want people to tell this series because if they know what I went through — the pain that I experienced, I was literally ready to give up my fight. I told myself I was just gonna lay in my bed and pretty much let go. I said I wasn’t going to fight anymore but then I had to think what I had to fight for.”

Parks said she wants everyone to take COVID-19 seriously.

For Parks, it all started after she performed at an Albany church on March 10.

Just a few days later, she said she knew something was wrong.

After finding out someone at the church she performed at tested positive, she got tested for COVID-19, and went home to be in quarantine for 14 days.

“I began to feel nauseated and I couldn’t keep any of my food down. I’m still thinking something is not right. Maybe, I have a stomach bug, so later that night on (March 14), I was in my bed and I noticed that I started to feel real hot. I continued to cough. I couldn’t stop coughing. I checked my temperature and my fever was at 102. And I was telling my husband something is not right, I don’t feel good at all,” she said.

But as Parks laid at home, waiting for her test results, the excruciating pain wouldn’t stop.

“It almost felt as if I was in labor. The pain was radiating from my stomach to my back. Nothing I was taking was helping. My fever would not go down. I was constantly coughing.” Parks said. “This past Friday, my heart felt like it was going to beat out of my chest. And I was, like I said, I was just laying in my bed and I was so dizzy, the room was just spinning. So, I take my temperature and it was 103."

Said Parks: “Talking on the phone, I could not breathe, walking to the restroom, I could not breathe. That’s how I knew something serious had to be wrong. So every day, I laid in bed and at one point, I was ready to, pretty much, ready to give up my fight. I told my husband because that’s how bad I felt.”

On March 20, Parks’ husband took her to the emergency room — just in time.

“I really feel if I would have laid there, I probably wouldn’t be able to do this story today,” Parks said. “They checked my heart rate (and) it was 156 beats per minute. My temperate was 104, so they immediately (went into) code sepsis. They ran me in the back, put an IV in this arm, and gave me all kinds of medicine. It was crazy.”

Parks said there was a mere hour timeframe to get all the medications in her system before “I guess, major organs could have begun shutting down, so that’s why it was three different people working on me at one time.”

The following day, Parks took to Facebook — feeling as if death was near.

“That video was coming from a place of wanting to raise awareness," Parks said. “Even in that video, I really didn’t have the strength, but I felt like I needed to because I feel like even if it’s just one person if I could just change the mind of one person, I did my job.”

Parks said she just found out she was COVID-19 positive this week.

She has this message for Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital: “I’m very grateful they were so innovative, you know, they had a plan, and then they put the plan into place because it’s still people here trying to recover."

Parks is now back home, but out of caution, she will still have to wait a few more days before she can hug her children again.

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