"It was like the best day of my life when I got transferred to the COVID floor."
That was Judge Derek Mosley’s reaction after spending eight days in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), struggling to breathe and fighting for his life. He compared breathing with COVID-19 to being underwater and trying to get up as fast as you can for air, but never being able to come up – for eight days!
"I can’t stress to people enough how frightening it is to not be able to breathe."
On day four, about midway through his ICU stay, Judge Mosley hit a turning point that was a big break mentally. He was lying on his stomach, thinking "This is it," when a nurse walked in the room with an iPad – on it, a video call from his wife and two daughters.
Seeing his family for the first time since he arrived in the ICU eight days before, he said this allowed him to say goodbye without really saying goodbye. At that point, he was content if this was it – but also determined to make it out.
From this dark place, Mosley, with the care and support of his nurse and healthcare staff, began a slow recovery to good health.
Backtrack to 2016: Mosley had a kidney transplant, which, while life-saving, made him particularly susceptible to COVID-19. In order to ensure his body doesn’t reject the kidney, Mosley takes immunosuppressant medication. This medication, as the name suggests, suppresses his immune system and makes it harder for his body to fight COVID-19. With his doctors, Mosley had to make the difficult decision to lower the medication in order to help his body fight the virus.
"It came down to a situation where it is: Is it the kidney, or is it your life?" Mosley said.
Luckily, Mosley now has his life and continues his road to recovery.
Before signing off from our conversation, Mosley wanted to thank all the health care workers and people on the front lines, stressing the sacrifices they are making during this time. He also emphasized that this is real; it is one thing to read about it and another to experience it firsthand.
To everyone reading this, please be respectful to others and take precautions even if you are not part of the "at risk" population, because people around you are. And especially after hearing Judge Mosley’s firsthand account, I would not wish what he went through on anyone.
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