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


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 2021 Nexstar 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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 Storm Weather School

WATE 6 On Your Side Twitter