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Mother and nurse, receives worse gift

By Dawn Burleigh

Debranique Tims, LVN, does not know how she came into contact with COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, but will always remember her birthday in 2020 as that is when she found out why she was sick.

“I do not know how I got because we were staying in the house,” Tims said on a phone interview. “We took all the precautions like sanitizing and wearing masks.”

She was working at a nursing home, not in Orange County, when she started displaying symptoms.

“It was before the restrictions on visitations were implemented,” Tims said.

She began to show symptoms on April 4 and had the test done on April 7.

“At first, I had a migraine and was nausea for two days,” Tims said. “On the third day I had fever but for only 24 hours. That is when I was tested.”

The test was a quick swab, however, was not the most pleasant experience.

“It is a little further to the back of the neck,” Tims said. “It left a burning sensation and was not comfortable.”

She also described other symptoms she had while positive for the virus such as shortness of breath, weak, losing the ability to taste or smell.

She also said it made her depressed.

“I have three children and a husband,” Tims said. “I could not spend time with them because I did not want to expose them. I had to FaceTime with the kids to see them.”

She posted on Facebook while under quarantine about her children FaceTime, “They FaceTime me all night and never sleep. They called me to tell me they cleaned their rooms and took baths…”

“I would talk to the kids through the door to do their homework,” Tims said. “They were calling for me and it made me sad because I could not see them.”

Being away from her children was the hardest part of it all according to Tims.

“My youngest one is always next to me,” Tims said. “I had my husband check her temperature every day. Fortunately, she did not get sick.”

Through it all, Tims said her husband is the true superhero.

“He took care of me through it all. He would sanitize me room every morning,” Tims said.

She has worked as an LVN for seven years. She is a West Orange Stark High School graduate and played basketball for the Mustangs. She also graduated from McNeese State University and returned to college at Lamar State College Orange to get her Nursing degree.

Tims has concerns with the state reopening.

“I walk out of my house and I see people not social distancing,” Tims said. “They are not wearing masks to protect others from their selves. It is a scary situation as flu season is almost here and there is no vaccine for this virus.”

She added the lack of information on symptoms of the virus.

“We do not know who is carrying the disease. We don’t know if we are touching a pen that someone with it may have touched,” Tims said. “Be responsible. Practice good hygiene. If you are sick, stay away from people because you just don’t know. People are not taking this serious.”

Tims added she, herself, had to separate from her family while hoping to not infect others and worried if they would get as sick as she did or worse.

“I did not have to be hospitalized,” Tims said. “I almost had to call 9-1-1 because I couldn’t breathe. My emotions were everywhere.”

Tims has three children ages 10, 7 and 2. None of them have shown signs of the virus, a fact she contributes to her husband and his sanitizing everything throughout everything.

Her birthday may have been spent in isolation from her family, but Mother’s Day will be spent with her family this year.