KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A long-haul COVID survivor is thankful that a worker’s compensation case against her former employer has been settled.
The battle for Keniethea Tadlock, who claimed she came down with the virus at work, went on for 20 months. There have been a lot of surprises along the way.
Once she survived the virus, severe post covid symptoms were diagnosed. They kept her in bed for months, and with her insurance benefits maxed out, Tadlock’s medical bills mounted to over half a million dollars. Then eight months ago, the bills were paid.
With debilitating symptoms, she applied for social security disability. It was granted, but the battle with her former employer continued. She asked for compensation, and that issue finally been resolved.
“It’s a blessing. God is good, all the time,” said Tadlock.
The tears flowed when Tadlock received news that after months of back and forth negotiations a worker’s compensation agreement with her former employer Blossman Gas had been reached.
“It’s an emotional roller coaster,” said Tadlock. “I was dying. They had done everything they can do for me. And, on October 16 they discharged me to the house without anything but oxygen because there was nothing more they could do at the hospital for me.”
She was diagnosed with “long haul COVID” and at the time she had 18 different symptoms. However, she says now she only has about eight. The medical bills were mounting up. Her insurance was maxed out and there were over half a million dollars in medical bills.
“Being sick and coming home and getting that on top of it, it was a real throwback for me. It was one of those things where I was just ready to give up,” said Tadlock.
However, she didn’t give up.
“God told me there were better things coming. So, I needed to fight more,” said Tadlock.
For a year she fought with the Worker’s Compensation Board to pay the bills. Compensation had been denied due to “no evidence of her being exposed at work,” the board said.
“My faith has really kept me strong. There were days like I said, I felt like giving up, yet God would give me that little nudge in the side telling me to get up and keep going,” said Tadlock.
In December, she was told her huge medical bills had been paid.
“That’s when it said workers’ compensation had paid everything over $600,000 worth of medical bills. Yet they claimed I didn’t get sick at work,” said Tadlock.
Now, she has a settlement. She says it’s closure she’s been waiting on for a long time. She is thankful to her attorney and to the legal representative from Blossman Gas for reaching a satisfactory agreement in her case.
Continuing to recover her health is Tadlock’s short-term goal. Her doctor tells her, she will likely never regain the normal health she once enjoyed before September of 2020 when she fell ill with COVID.