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Wed. 11:30 a.m.: Austintown father is latest to fight coronavirus

BOARDMAN – A 40-year-old father of four from Austintown is on a ventilator at St. Elizabeth Boardman Hospital, fighting coronavirus as his family is quarantined.

It happened fast.

“They can’t break his fever,” the man’s brother told The Vindicator this morning.

The family physician and nurses who saw him are quarantined too, according to his brother, who agreed to talk about the case anonymously. “We just don’t want the family to be bothered at this time,” the brother said.

The 40-year-old non-smoker, who works in a small factory and has always been healthy, went to the family doctor March 9, feeling sick that weekend with a slight fever and cough. His four kids and girlfriend self-quarantined since that date, the brother said.

The patient’s fever and cough worsened all week until Friday. An x-ray showed pneumonia in one lung, and the virus test was given.

“He did have one spot of pneumonia on one lung,” the brother explained, noting the 40-year-old self-admitted himself to the hospital Monday “as his breathing went downhill.”

He was immediately quarantined at the hospital.

It was at 3 a.m. Tuesday that the Centers for Disease Control called the family doctor about the positive test outcome.

The 40-year-old is in critical condition and is not breathing on his own, his brother said.

“My brother was healthy, had no underlying health issues. He wasn’t a smoker,” he added.

“We just want people to know this is much more serious than we are led to believe.”

The patient did not go out of Ohio, and is believed to have picked up the virus in the community, the brother noted.

The brother has not seen his family, only his mother, who is “a mess right now,” he said.

The mother has only seen her sick son once, as she is quarantined until March 23.

The brothers were able to speak by phone only once before the patient went on a ventilator. Really nothing much was said, the brother explained.

“He seemed calm … We didn’t want to get him riled up.”

As well as being worried about the family, the brother is concerned for the community – saying it’s worrisome that people low in the chain of symptoms might not get access for testing, due to availability.

twills@tribtoday.com

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