It took less than an hour for hospital staff to confirm Troy resident Amanda Martinez had tested positive for COVID-19.
“Not even an hour later, I got my test back, which said I was positive,” Martinez, 31, told the Telegram. “I actually thought I had a sinus infection from when we got hit with all that rain.”
But her coronavirus symptoms — coming in stages over a few days — included pneumonia, loss of taste and smell, and a fever. Although Martinez was permitted to recover at her home, her pain was overbearing, she said.
“When I came home people said, ‘Oh, it’s like the flu,’” Martinez said. “But it’s nothing like the flu. Your body feels totally different.”
Martinez emphasized how she experienced excruciating pain from sudden muscle cramps in her leg, leading her to return to the hospital.
“The muscle cramps were the worst because they were charley horses you didn’t expect,” she said. “They were really bad for me.”
Martinez was hospitalized and given a plasma transfusion — a treatment therapy she says alleviated symptoms. “By the next day, my symptoms either went away or they were down,” she said.
Despite this quick improvement in her health, Martinez said there are still days when her body struggles with fatigue.
“Even just going to the grocery store now can wear me out. Your body feels like it has to refunction to get back to everything,” she said.
Temple resident David Stone, 59, understands that feeling.
Please see SURVIVORS, 2A
Stone owned and operated Choices Fitness Studio — 2905 Thornton Lane in Temple — until COVID-19 impacted his business.
“Most of my clients were older seniors,” Stone said. “They just were afraid and a lot of them were in that group that has underlying conditions. They really shouldn’t have come, and financially ... I held on as long as I could, since I didn’t get any help from the government.”
His fitness studio closed in August — a business the former Telegram editor said he operated for three years.
“After I was forced to shut down, I figured if the people can’t come to the gym, I’ll go to them,” he said. “So I put together a mobile gym and it was just starting to get going until I got COVID.”
Stone himself is high risk, as he has battled both lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. His diagnosis from Baylor Scott & White came Sept. 13.
“I live alone so I didn’t have to worry about quarantining with a roommate or a family member, but it was a little bit scary,” Stone said. “I mean, you are alone, and it’s unexpected.”
Although most of the effects of COVID-19 have left his system, he, too, struggles with fatigue quickly setting in.
“I’m still feeling the effects of it. I would like to say, ‘Tomorrow I’ll be 100 percent,’ but I don’t know,” he said. “I get winded really easily and I struggle to breathe sometimes. It kind of goes on and on.”
Both Stone and Martinez plan to continue taking actions that will help their communities fight COVID-19. Stone emphasized the importance of wearing masks, while Martinez plans to donate plasma.
“I plan to donate, because it can help somebody who’s gotten really sick,” she said.