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Though discharged, nurse’s battle with COVID-19 far from over

Nurse Judyann Johnson, 55, who was at the peak of her COVID-19 battle, just nearly a week ago, says she is still struggling with her recovery, despite no longer being hospitalized.

Last week, Johnson spoke with The Nassau Guardian while struggling to breathe on an oxygen ventilator at Doctors Hospital West.

She said she was discharged on Sunday.

“It’s been four days now,” said Johnson, who breathed heavily.

“I was vomiting all morning. I feel so bad. I am tired. I didn’t expect this. Like, right now, I’m getting tired. It’s too much. I am on so much medication.”

She said the virus has changed her life.

“The people who went through this know things are different,” the nurse said.

“You see it in a new aspect. It may seem like it’s no big deal, but trust me it’s a big deal. This is a life I have to get adjusted to now. I have to manage my health better.”

She added, “I like junk food. It’s not good. It really hit home for me. I have to get up at 6 a.m. to do my glucose stick now. I have to stick myself in my stomach. It’s not about trying to do your best at this point; it’s about doing it.”

Johnson said although she worked in the environment, she never thought she would end up on the other side of the fence.

“It was scary,” she said.

“While working there, I would always say, ‘Oh Lord, I don’t ever want to go in there.’ I still end up in there.”

Johnson said she is still having “battles” in her mind.

“I didn’t see this in my wildest dreams,” Johnson said.

“Mentally, it’s a rollercoaster. My family could have been planning my funeral, but today, I’m here. It reminds me of God’s word, ‘You shall live and not die.’ I see myself as a testimony. It was something that could have break me, but surprisingly, it really didn’t.”

She said nurses and doctors are also faced with a serious situation.

“This is a hard battle for my colleagues,” Johnson said.

“When you look around, all you can see is negativity, negativity, negativity about PMH (Princess Margaret Hospital) and the nurses. We are doing a hell of a good job. I was there. I am on the frontline. To become a patient at that time, made me see a lot. Even at my weakest, I wanted to help.”

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Italia Clarke

Italia Clarke joined the Nassau Guardian in August 2020. Clarke covers national, human interest and social issues. Education: University of The Bahamas, BA in Media Journalism

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