After being told it was just a bad flu, New Providence woman struggles to breathe while awaiting COVID-19 test result

After being told for two weeks that she was suffering from a “bad flu”, Kamilah Simms, 40, could hardly walk to her kitchen to make a cup of tea due to difficulty breathing and fatigue as she awaited her COVID-19 test result on Saturday.

The wait has so far been an anxious one for Simms, who is a diabetic and also has hypertension. She said she had to take it easy as she spoke, so as not to lose her breath.

“I’m worried,” she told The Nassau Guardian.

“I’m trying not to think about it too much, but I just want my breathing to catch.”

She added, “No flu has you feeling like this.”

A mother of two, Simms has been suffering from a cough and fatigue for nearly two weeks now, but was only tested for COVID-19 on Friday night, after she had to be put on oxygen at Princess Margaret Hospital.

She and six other family members had been staying with her 65-year-old parents in Coral Harbour, New Providence, ever since the 24-hour curfew was announced last month.

Her sister, who had been staying with them in the same house, tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.

Simms was released from the hospital on Friday night, but still feels no better.

“Breathing still is a problem,” she said between coughs.

“There’s no relief. No food will stay down. I’m just drinking and it’s just coming right back out.”

She added, “The only thing that makes me feel better is when I take Tylenol.

“I try to walk up and down, but today it’s hard even just to go to the kitchen and make a cup of tea.”

Simms said most of all, she doesn’t understand why it took so long to be tested. She said she saw a doctor at a private clinic and was sent home twice in the past two weeks.

“I don’t know how to feel,” she said.

“At first, before my sister got her results, I thought it might just be the flu. But now after she got hers back and we have the same symptoms, I feel like this has got to be COVID.”

Simms said she first went to the doctor after she developed a cough and started to feel fatigued.

“The cough was severe,” she said.

“It was hurting my head and my chest. So he treated me for that. He gave me Tylex Flu and some Allegra. None of those medications worked.

“So, after the first lockdown we had, the whole time I was sick, so I went back on Monday morning.

“…I said, ‘I’m still feeling the same. I feel like I did nothing.’

“I said, ‘The coughing is unbearable and it’s causing me to breathe funny.’

“So, he gave me some steroid tablets for two days and then an antibiotic for three days and said that should clear up everything.

“That didn’t work.”

She added, “I just didn’t know what was going on. At the same time, my sister had a cough as well and she went to the doctor. They sent her to the hospital.

“…PMH did the testing on her.”

Simms added, “They gave her her results and she was COVID-19-positive.

“So I said, I might have been positive from before her.

Health officials on Saturday announced an additional four cases of COVID-19 in The Bahamas, bringing the number of confirmed cases to 46.

There have been eight deaths, and five people have recovered from the illness.

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