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Local COVID-19 survivor urges others to take virus seriously — especially young adults

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Those who’ve contracted COVID-19 and survive are left with powerful stories to tell. KX News shares the story of a young woman who is urging others her age to take it seriously.

“I felt like our family was doing everything right,” said Taylor Heine.

Twenty-six-year-old Heine’s journey with COVID-19 started one month ago after she traveled home to Texas to see her family.

“My father had passed away. I attended his funeral and I was there to support my mom throughout that time, and I stayed there for a lengthy period of time. I stayed there for about a month,” said Heine.

But before she could return to North Dakota, there were some complications. Her brother’s boyfriend started to experience symptoms of the virus, and soon after, so did she.

“At first, I dismissed it as allergies or the Saharan dust bloom that just had been through the south, and that Saturday, I woke up and I had a severe fever, intense eye pressure and a really debilitating headache,” she added.

After being tested, she discovered that not only did she contract COVID-19, but also her mother, her brother and his boyfriend. She says that she took every precaution: social distancing, wearing double masks and using hand sanitizer.

“That’s when it really started to hit me,” she said.

And even though the virus has run its course and she’s tested negative, she still lives in fear of the unknown.

“Waking up every day and not knowing what my day is going to bring. Are my oxygen saturation levels going to be low? Am I going to be able to breathe? Are things going to decline? Are things going to look up for me?” added Heine.

She and her family members all made a full recovery. Now she is urging other young adults to be careful, and even when they think they are being cautious enough, it could still happen to them — and they may not be so lucky to recover.

Heine says they still have not heard from the CDC or the Department of Health in Texas to learn where they may have contracted the virus.

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