21-year-old Florida man recovers from mild COVID-19, then his organs began to fail


Spencer Rollyson says he experienced mild COVID-19 symptoms in May and didn’t think much of it.

“I had symptoms for a few days and it went away after a couple weeks, and I was fine after that,” said the 21-year-old Rollyson. “So I thought.”

He said initially, his symptoms felt like those of the flu or a cold. Then, just weeks later, he said, he nearly lost his life.

“About a week and a half, two weeks later, I started feeling bad,” Rollyson said.

He said he knew something was wrong when he went to work wearing a jacket to ward off the rain and ended up keeping it on after the rain had stopped despite working outside in Florida heat in the 90s. “I was still freezing,” he said.

Rollyson said he went to the emergency room with a 103.4-degree fever and underwent several tests, including blood work, chest X-rays and CT scans.

He said everything came back clear. “They had no idea what was going on,” he said.

Two days later, he was in the ICU.

“That’s when everything started shutting down,” he said. “In that two days, my body rapidly declined.”

He said doctors told him that as his body was trying to fight off the virus, it went into “a hyperactive mode” and eventually started “attacking” his own body. As a result, he suffered heart failure, acute respiratory failure and severe sepsis.

“I never thought, at 21, I would be on the verge of death,” he said. “I’m healthy and young, no prior health issues.”

Rollyson said after weeks of recovery, he’s still on medication that doctors have told him will likely continue for “the next year or two.”

Health experts have been stressing that while many young people go through the virus without symptoms, there’s still no way to know how they might react to COVID-19.

“All I have to say is just because you’re young doesn’t mean it’s not gonna affect you,” Rollyson said. “It’s not something to play around with. Just be safe, wear your masks, wash your hands. I can’t urge it enough.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Coronavirus COVID-19 videos

Biden slams Trump for 'knowingly' lying on COVID

McEnany: Trump 'never lied' to the public on COVID

Trump bemoans virus restrictions in North Carolina

University of Tennessee relocating Massey Hall residents to make room for COVID-19 self-isolation cases

Coronavirus in Tennessee: Knox County reports 100 new cases, 157 new inactive cases

Knox County Health Dept. says plan in place for vaccine distribution

UT Chancellor: Some dodging COVID-19 precautions

Two Tennessee women participating in a COVID-19 vaccine study

Tennessee teachers asking for more safety measures

State launching COVID-19 schools dashboard

Knox County Health Dept.: Numbers reflect new timeframe for inactive cases

Clinton High School cancels next 2 weeks of games due to virus

UT chancellor: Fraternities trying to avoid COVID-19 precautions

Trending Stories

WATE 6 On Your Side Twitter