AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - An Amarillo woman who tested positive for COVID-19 is now considered recovered and is sharing her story in an effort to show others how serious the disease is.
“I was totally out of control, there’s not anything I could do,” said Laura Taylor. “It was the worst two weeks of my life, I’ll just say that.”
She recently traveled to Egypt. She says it was the trip of a lifetime, but her vacation was cut short due to the coronavirus.
“[President] Trump had just made the order that no European flights could come back into America in a couple of days,” said Taylor. “So we started scrambling and trying to get together tickets to get back home.”
It took her three days to get back home. She flew internationally from Cairo to New York and then to Amarillo.
She and 12 others who went on that trip took it upon themselves to self-quarantine.
For Taylor, it was only two days until the symptoms hit.
“I didn’t know who to call,” she said. “Somebody told me to call the public health department, so I did. They said call your doctor, [so I] called my doctor, and she sent me to Exceptional ER there on North Western, because they had the stuff to test me. So, of course, they did the flu [test], the strep [test], the chest x-ray.”
After the doctor saw her flight plan, she was tested for COVID-19.
“Within a day, he called me back and said you’ve got it,” she said. “And he said, ‘they’re about to do a news conference, you and one other are positive.’”
She said the doctor told her she was the first confirmed case in Amarillo. As she quarantined at home, her symptoms grew worse.
“I started getting a really bad headache,” said Taylor. “Then the headache went from a cough, to sore throat, to nausea, to really bad fatigue… real bad fatigue. It just continually, progressively got worse. [I also had] a low grade fever. The low grade fever was like 99 to 100 for about six days, and then day six was when it got really bad.”
It wasn’t until she was given hydroxychloroquine, a drug used to treat Malaria, that things started looking up.
“After I started taking the Malaria medicine, I started to feel a lot better,” she said. “Like, the next day.”
Tuesday was the first day she didn’t have a fever. While there were 13 people on her trip to Egypt, she was the only person who ended up testing positive for coronavirus.
“I don’t know where I got it,” said Taylor. “I don’t know if I got it on the Nile River cruise where we were at in Egypt, or if I got it on the international flight from Cairo to New York. I don’t know, but it’s contagious, and it is scary.”
Her message to others:
“I’ll be honest, I was one of those when it first started coming out, I was thinking ‘oh, more people are dying from the flu,’ and I didn’t take it that seriously.”
“If it got me down like that, what would it do to somebody that does have a compromised immune system, or an elderly person or child or anybody?” she said. “It’s not a long time to wait, it’s got a period at the end of it. It’s going to end, but right now, please just stay home if you can.”