Cedar Park- Leander - June 2020

PEOPLE

Health Care Edition 2020

Gardell Tung Round Rock resident shares experience surviving COVID19 O n the morning of March 28, Gardell Tung was eating breakfast in bed. Monitors beeped and whirred all around him within the intensive care unit at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Round Rock. Suddenly, a nurse, wearing a face shield, smock and gloves rushed into the room. “She told me to stop eating immediately,” said Tung, who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 a few days prior. “I was not getting enough oxygen.” Over the course of the next few hours, a team of nurses and doctors attempted various methods of increasing oxygen ow. “Finally, the doctors said there’s nothing they could do,” he said. “They needed to intubate me.” He was sedated, and a breathing tube was inserted into his windpipe while a machine pumped oxygen into his body. Seven days later, Tung woke up. Tung, a native of New York, was visiting his mother in Queens in early March. He said he rode the subway into Manhattan a couple of times BY TAYLOR JACKSON BUCHANAN

“I HAVE A VERY STRONG IMMUNE SYSTEM. I NEVER THOUGHT THAT IF I GOT THIS VIRUS ITWOULD BE SUCH A HORRIBLE EXPERIENCE FORME .” GARDELL TUNG, ROUND ROCK RESIDENT

during his stay and suspects that may be how he caught the virus. After returning to Round Rock on March 18, Tung said, he began to feel feverish. Over the course of the next ve days spent in self-isolation, he described his symptoms as similar to bronchitis. He coughed up phlegm that at rst was green, then brown. Then he coughed up blood. “That worried me,” Tung said. “I felt that I needed to go to the ER.” Tung said he remembers his temperature register- ing 104 degrees Fahrenheit when he arrived at the medical center. He said sta took a chest X-ray and a CT scan, which revealed pneumonia in both lungs. A swab test came back the following day with a positive result for COVID-19. “At Baylor Scott & White Health, there is nothing more important to us than the well-being of our patients and sta and the broader health of our communities,” spokesperson Christina Millweard said in an email to Community Impact Newspaper . Since March, more than 90% of the hospital care provided at Baylor Scott & White has been unre- lated to COVID-19, Millweard said. Upon waking from a weeklong sedation, Tung described feeling weak from lying in bed without any physical activity. “Just the act of walking and maintaining my balance was very tough,” he said. Several days later, he was tested twice within

Gardell Tung was hospitalized in March and April due to complications from COVID19. (Taylor Jackson Buchanan/ Community Impact Newspaper)

48 hours for COVID-19. Once both tests came back negative, he was discharged April 10. “This virus is real,” he said. “Take it seriously; take precautions; but don’t panic.”

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

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