CINCINNATI — The CEO of a local nonprofit organization is sharing the story of his debilitating battle with COVID-19. Weeks after his diagnosis he said he’s still fighting symptoms and wants to help others avoid contracting the virus.
T. Duane Gordon, who heads Community Shares of Greater Cincinnati, had what he thought was a mild case of the coronavirus before it took a turn he thought might end his life.
“We’ve been working from home since then and taking all the appropriate precautions,” he said.
Gordon’s son went back to school in August, but for months, the family stayed healthy.
“The weekend of Christmas break, we got an email on Saturday that his teachers had tested positive,” he said.
Gordon’s son soon developed a fever of 103 degrees. He was told to watch the boy overnight and bring him to a hospital the next day.
“To monitor his breathing, I slept next to him, which exposed me to COVID,” he said. “We took him to urgent care the next morning, and his symptoms had abated by that time and he was fine like he had never been sick, but he still tested positive.”
Gordon’s positive COVID test came days later – at first, he felt fine.
“I arrogantly though, ‘oh, well this is nothing. It’s just going to be a cold for a few days,’” he said.
After watching his son get better in about a day, Gordon only got worse.
“I was basically bedridden entirely for a week other than drinking enough water not to die,” he said.
Gordon said his symptoms included fever dreams and hallucinations. He feared he wouldn’t recover.
“The worst sickness I have ever had in my life,” he said. “When it got at its worst, the couple of days it was worst, I really had the thought, ‘is this going to kill me? Am I going to die from this?’”
Gordon said his family’s story shows how the virus impacts everyone differently and that following the CDC guidelines could save a life.
“It’s not worth taking a risk when you don’t know if you’re going to be asymptomatic, deadly sick or even died from this,” he said.
Gordon said he still has severe coughing fits multiple times a day along with fatigue. His doctor said it’s just a guess of how many weeks it will take for him to fully recover.