WAKE COUNTY, N.C. — A Raleigh mom is warning others to take the pandemic seriously as she recovers from a severe case of COVID-19 that left her hospitalized at UNC REX Hospital for almost an entire month.
What You Need To Know
UNC REX says the number of COVID-19 patients at the hospital have been increasing since June with 85% of infections attributed to the delta variant
A Raleigh mom was hospitalized for almost an entire month and is warning others to take COVID-19 seriously
Her family has a GoFundMe set up because they face more than $150,000 in medical bills
There are financial resources to help people struggling with COVID-19 related expenses
On Tuesday, a hospital spokesperson told Spectrum News 1 that 16 people were currently hospitalized for COVID-19 at UNC REX. They say that number is concerning because it has been steadily increasing since June.
"UNC REX doesn’t specifically type the COVID patients with the test that we perform. But across UNC Health, the last time that variants were assessed, 85% of all the COVID infections were due to the delta variant,” a spokesperson said.
Charneseya Moye is a mom of three who was hospitalized at UNC REX and spent 10 days on a ventilator. Now she faces a massive amount of medical bills as well as the lasting health impacts of the virus.
Trips to the park aren’t as easy as they used to be for Moye. She often finds herself trying to catch her breath and even using her inhaler to help her breathe. She was hospitalized with COVID-19 on May 2 and almost immediately put on a ventilator.
Even though she couldn’t respond and wasn’t aware of her surroundings, she says her family would Facetime her while she was intubated. She says she doesn’t recognize herself when she looks back on the screenshots of those calls.
“Everyone was calling me and talking to me. My kids seeing me because they hadn’t seen me in weeks,” Moye said. “It’s almost kind of scary to look at because I’ve never seen myself like that or even expected myself to be in a type of situation to put me on a ventilator like that. It’s like, ‘Wow. Who is she?’”
Moye says her case was so severe that doctors were surprised when she woke up.
“Waking up, I’m 20 to 30 pounds lighter than what I was coming in, can’t really speak. When I hear myself speak, it’s like gibberish because I haven’t spoken in so long. My tongue is numb. It was a lot,” Moye said.
She says loneliness was the hardest part, but there was one specific nurse who helped her get through it.
“I really thank her because without her I think I wouldn’t have made it in there mentally,” Moye said.
Now she’s out of work as she continues to recover from a blood clot in her lungs and her family is displaced, struggling with more than $150,000 in medical bills.
“Just seeing my kids, they know what’s going on but at the same time you have to stay strong,” Moye said.
Despite all this, she feels lucky to be alive and is warning others to take COVID-19 seriously.
“It doesn’t care how old you are. It doesn’t care what race you are. It doesn’t care what sex. It doesn’t care,” Moye said. “It’s nothing to play with because it’s something that can take your life, and it will come back and get you again because you can catch it again.”
Moye says she wasn’t vaccinated when she got sick because she was doing some research to see how a vaccine would impact her. However, now she’s planning to get vaccinated as soon as possible. She also wants to go back to school and do something in the medical field so she can help others the way staff at UNC REX helped her.
If you would like to donate to the Moye family, they have a GoFundMe page set up.
If you need help with COVID-19 related costs, visit the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services website.
On Monday, President Joe Biden announced that those Americans dealing with so-called “long COVID,” sometimes debilitating side effects caused by the illness that last for months after the initial infection, would have access to disability protections under federal law.