Virus had man ‘weak as water’
Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor, Editor, [email protected]
A Corydon man who contracted the novel coronavirus called it a “just terrible” experience.
“I hope I don’t get it again,” said Marvin Longacre, 63.
The self-employed roofing contractor believes he caught the virus at church in mid-March.
“I had a fever for about nine days,” said Longacre, who went to the hospital to be tested for COVID-19. “I had a little bit of a cough.”
He recalled spending several days in bed, only getting up to go to the bathroom. Then, on March 27, his wife, Shirley, drove him to Baptist Health Floyd in New Albany, where he was admitted. Due to regulations in place because of the virus, his wife was not allowed to stay.
(Longacre said his wife appeared to have had a milder version of the virus and was over it within a few days.)
“I don’t remember much about that first night in the hospital,” Longacre said.
Initially, he was treated for pneumonia but his test results confirmed he was positive for the coronavirus.
“I was never on a ventilator but was moved to ICU” due to his oxygen levels dropping, he said, adding he was receiving two different IVs. “With the IVs, I couldn’t get up or do anything.”
As a diabetic, Longacre usually takes oral medication to keep it under control. However, while he was hospitalized, he received injections.
“I hate needles,” he said.
After five days of being in ICU, Longacre was moved back to a regular room. He learned that toward the end of his time in ICU how his wife felt led to blow a shofar (a musical horn often made from a ram’s horn).
“I stabilized that night,” he said.
During his stay in the hospital, Longacre said he didn’t feel like eating anything.
“I was as weak as water,” he said, adding he lost 21 pounds in 11 days.
Prior to being discharged from the hospital, Longacre experienced atrial fibrillation (an irregular heartbeat). He was treated for that from April 3 to 6 before he was released on April 7.
Longacre said the “greatest nurses in the world” cared for him.
“There are some amazing people — doctors and nurses — who help,” he said. “It’s their call in life.”
Once home, Longacre decided to stay at home at least a week and not see his four grandsons for a while.
“I wouldn’t want to get someone sick,” he said.
Longacre who said he was glad to be home, encourages people to wear masks to avoid spreading the virus to others.
“People are dying,” he said. “This is nothing to joke about. I wasn’t worried about getting it; I just got it. I can’t imagine doing that again.”
Longacre credits his faith with how he weathered the virus.
“People who don’t know Jesus, I don’t know how they make it in life,” he said. “If you ain’t got Jesus, you ain’t got nothing.”
He has received numerous phone calls and knows many people were praying for him. He was especially touched by a man who mowed his yard for him then walked up on his porch, knelt and prayed for him.
“Laying there in the hospital, I was thinking about a lot of stuff,” Longacre said. “There’s millions of people way worse off than me.
“I wasn’t worried about dying,” he said. “I was just laying there, wondering if I was ever going to get out of the hospital. I’m glad I made it.”
Longacre said he was anxious to go back to work and do “normal” things like walk down the street.
“Man thinks he’s smart, but we’re not the one in control,” he said. “We’re God’s children; he cares for us. He’s the one in charge.”