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Johnson recalls his battle with COVID-19

Central and South Eleuthera MP Hank Johnson vividly recalled the moment he was told he tested positive for COVID-19.

“When the doctors say to you, ‘Your test is back and you are positive,’ — it’s like a death sentence,” Johnson told The Nassau Guardian.

“You become confused. Your body specifically changes. You can feel a change in your body because you are positive and you don’t know what the [future] holds. You don’t know what direction you’re heading and the first thing comes to my mind is, ‘Oh, Lord, how did I get this?’

“And the question to the doctors, ‘What am I going to do now?’ And, of course, I began to cry because I didn’t know what the future was like. I did not know which road I was heading down at that time.” 

Johnson tested positive for COVID-19 on August 20 after being airlifted into New Providence for a fluctuation in his blood pressure.

He said his pressure had dropped “extremely low on two occasions”.

He is now COVID-19-free.

“I have officially recovered,” Johnson said.

“I have the documentation. I was legally discharged by the doctors and I do have my COVID slips.”

He said he was classified as a recovered COVID case on September 4.

But he said the ordeal was an eye-opener. 

After he tested positive, Johnson was hospitalized at Doctors Hospital on Blake Road for 48 hours.

“The 48 hours of being in the center down there is amazing because you get to see the real effects of COVID,” Johnson said.

“I didn’t have some of the symptoms that the other patients had but just being able to see them with respiratory issues — very, very serious respiratory issues — to the point where they’re trying to take the tubes out of their bodies, where the nurses and the doctors have to restrain them, where they’re crying out for help.

“It’s unbelievable. You have to see it to experience it.”

He added, “I’m one of the fortunate ones who was able to walk in there and walk out. Some walked in and they had to bring them back out. I’m one of the lucky ones.”

When asked why he was hospitalized, Johnson replied, “After they discovered that I was positive, they weren’t taking any chances. And so they sent me at the time where everyone should go to be checked out properly… They kept me there for that period of time.

“What they did is they ran a 24-hour test. Every three or four minutes, the blood pressure was being checked, the oxygen levels were being checked, the blood sugar was being checked.

“Everything that they could think about was being checked every few minutes to make sure that the body was not changing on them.”

Johnson said he was quarantined at a hotel on New Providence for 14 days after being released from hospital.

He described it as “not easy”.

“It’s like a prison sentence and you’re being guarded to make sure you do not come out of that room,” Johnson said.

“You’re not allowed to come out that room at all.”

He said the facility was “extremely decent” and the service was “great”.

Johnson said he doesn’t know where he contracted the virus.

“Today, we are still trying to find out where I contracted that virus,” he said.

“I don’t have an answer. That’s how easy it is to catch it and you don’t know who has it.”

Johnson said he was like “a loner” in the weeks leading up to his positive test.

He noted no one close to him, including his wife and children, tested positive for the virus.

Two other parliamentarians — Cat Island, Rum Cay and Salvador MP Philip Brave Davis and Senator Dr. Michael Darville — also said that they tested positive for COVID-19.

At last count, over 2,900 people tested positive for COVID-19 in The Bahamas. 

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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