University of Memphis student shares what it was like to have COVID-19

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WKRN) — COVID-19 can affect people of all ages. An 18-year-old University of Memphis student is sharing her experience now that she has recovered.

Kayley Watkins went on a spring break trip to Panama City with a group of friends and her boyfriend. They cut their trip short because of the intensifying pandemic. Then a few days later, Watkins started not feeling well.

“I woke up with like a runny nose, and then I started having a dry cough and it just progressed by day,” Watkins said. “With me previously I have a compromised immune system; I have a connective tissue disorder. I was like, maybe I need to go ahead and get tested.”

Watkins and her boyfriend both got tested for COVID-19 because they had been quarantined together for a week. Her symptoms progressed and included a burning sensation in her nose and a complete loss of taste.

“I went to bed and I kept having like a super tight chest, and I felt like I couldn’t breathe so I was like, okay, I’m really glad I got tested. I’m not leaving my house,” Watkins said.

Two days later Watkins’ test came back positive. Her boyfriend’s test was negative. She said in total her symptoms lasted about two weeks.

“You can be okay one second and not be okay the next second; that was the hardest part, just not knowing when it was going to be okay again,” Watkins said.

Watkins is urging people of all ages to take the threat of the virus seriously and to stay home.

“I’m thankful when the CDC called me that I wasn’t embarrassed to say where I was and who I had been with,” Watkins said.

Watkins’ family contacted a doctor who had treated her Ehlers-Danos connective tissue disorder. She said that doctor is doing a trial of a drug that could be used to treat COVID-19. She was given that drug and started to recover within a few days. It’s unknown if the drug helped or the virus had just run its course at that point.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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