Robert Livingston, 27 of Tennessee, is returning home after battling bilateral coronavirus pneumonia in the hospital for several days.
Prior to his illness, Livingston said, he was otherwise healthy; he never smoked cigarettes, nor did he have a compromised immune system.
“This virus put me on my back, I was as healthy as they come,” he said in a recent video on Facebook.
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Livingston tested positive for the virus on July 20. He thought he had recovered from a short stint of illness when suddenly he endured “horrible” chest pains, uncontrollable coughing, and felt like he couldn’t breathe, he said.
“My fever is back to almost 103. Oxygen is at 76, enlarged lymph nodes on my chest, enlarged spleen for whatever reason,” he said in the video, adding that he was treated with hydroxychloroquine, zinc, and other vitamins. He also described a coughing fit that lasted ten minutes, with doctors and nursing filling his hospital room.
“I literally thought I was going to die, I couldn’t stop. My heart rate went through the roof, my blood pressure went through the roof. I thought I was coughing my lungs up," he recalled, adding the experience was "pretty scary."
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Livingston said initially opted not to wear a mask.
But after his experience with the virus and speaking with doctors, he is encouraging others to don a mask, regardless of political leanings.
In his most recent update, he reported sleeping through the night for the first time in two weeks, and while he was still experiencing some chest pains, he said he could almost take a full breath again.
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