RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A Henrico nurse who battled Coronavirus is now free of the virus. Billy Brooks has been home for a couple of weeks now recovering. He just got the news that he’s now clear of the virus after receiving plasma therapy at VCU Medical Center.
"This virus is no joke. It will hurt you…I was a strong man but I never thought it would put me down that way,” Brooks said. He lives to tell the story. "I think I was intubated for 13 days so that's a long time to be under and down."
His family says he was one of the first to undergo a new procedure at VCU Medical to fight Coronavirus. Someone who recovers can donate their plasma to someone who is sick. Brooks believe it may have saved his life.
"I was told my temperature was 106 and they said after I got the plasma that my temperature started coming down…They went all out to try to save my life because I definitely was a sick man,” he said. Brooks contracted the virus after working with sick patients.
"I was taking care of, they call it ‘rural out’ Covid patients. Actually some of the nurses I was working with, they got it as well but being as young as they were, it didn’t affect them as much as it did me,” Brooks said.
The 59-year-old has underlying health conditions, but Coronavirus is no longer one of them. He still has to go through physical therapy at home.
"I get better and better every time. I actually walked out of the house yesterday and walked to my truck and I hadn’t been able to do that,” he said with a smile.
And perhaps, one of the best parts about his recovery -- he can now hug the grandkids, something he hasn’t been able to do in a month.
"You need to respect the social distancing. Wear your mask and just be careful,” he said. That’s advice Brooks plans to give when he gets back to work. Yes, he plans to go back. "I'm going to put myself back in that arena as soon as I'm well to go back to nursing because that's what I want to do…Somebody has to take care of these people,” he said with pride.
Brooks became a nurse fairly late in life. He says once his children grew up, he realized he still needed people to take care of so he went to nursing school at 42 years old and has been helping others for 13 years now.
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