BRANSON, Mo.- Tracy and Becky Camden have plenty of holiday cheer, but in mid-October, the couple starting experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
Becky knew what to do, as she works as an ER nurse at Cox Branson, her wife works as a school bus driver for Branson Schools. Tracy felt extra cranky and says that is not normal for her.
“That’s so out of character for me,” she says. “I drove my route and just felt grumpy. After I dropped off my last kid, I went to step out of my bus, and my legs almost buckled. By the time I got to my car, I could barely breathe.”
When their results came back positive, the Camdens stayed home. By day six, they felt okay.
“Our heads were a little foggy since COVID clouds your mind, but we were getting stronger,” said Becky.
After that glimpse of positivity, Tracy started to feel worse. Tracy’s oxygen levels had dipped into the 80s; normal oxygen levels are around 95 to 100. Becky took Tracy to the ER and was sent home on oxygen. When Tracy woke up the next morning, her oxygen had tanked, even more, she lost her appetite, and her low-grade fever had spiked to over 103 degrees.
X-ray results show that Tracy’s lungs were riddled with COVID and were already showing scar damage.
“This is the point I began to get terrified,” Becky says. “When she came home, I’d set my phone alarm for every 30 minutes so I could test her oxygen again. She just kept getting worse.”
The couple then knew it was time to head to Springfield for treatment, but Tracy resisted because she was afraid she’d end up on a ventilator.
“We both just laid there for an hour and a half crying,” Becky said. “I knew if she was admitted to critical care, I may never see her again. That’s a really hard feeling to even describe.”
A co-worker of Becky, Jason Froeschle, drove the two to Springfield.
“I sat in the back with Tracy, and our minds were racing,” Becky remembers. “I wanted to get her up there as fast as we could to get treatment, but I didn’t want that time in the car with her to end.”
When they arrived at the ER at Cox South, Becky and Tracy had to part ways.