From the frontlines to a hospital bed: Knoxville nurse battles COVID-19 in the hospital where she works

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A local nurse has been fighting COVID-19 on the frontlines for most of this pandemic, now she’s battling her own case of the virus from a hospital bed.

Tosha Peace has been working in health care for a decade. She was a licensed practical nurse first, then went back to school and graduated from Pellissippi State Community College in May.

Her career as a registered nurse just as the coronavirus pandemic gripped the world. She’s spent countless hours taking care of those COVID-19 patients in intensive care in Knoxville.

In addition to being a nurse, Peace is a wife and a mom to a 3-year-old little girl.

Her busy life had a change of pace earlier this month when her husband tested positive for the virus first, then her.

“I was just a week away from getting my vaccine when I started showing signs of Covid,” said Peace, “It started out as just nasal congestion, a little bit of a headache fatigue.”

Her symptoms kept getting worse, then on Christmas Eve, her temperature reached a new high at 104.6. She’s been in Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center since. She says breathing is the biggest challenge with the virus.

“You’re taking the most shallow breaths, you’re thinking this is the moment you’re going to die,” said Peace.

Peace says her colleagues and the entire hospital staff have done everything they can to keep her comfortable during her treatment.

Peace adds she is thankful her daughter has not tested positive for the virus. She says she hopes that her story can be used as a warning to everyone not following CDC guidelines.

“Please stay home. I know it’s been a hard year for everyone, you can’t truly see what these patients are going through until you see these patients and what they’re going through, and now I have a whole new perspective being that patient,” said Peace.

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