AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – An Austintown woman’s story is proof of how fast COVID-19 can spread. It started at a bridal shower and resulted in three people hospitalized and almost all of the guests showing some symptoms.
Thursday, April 2 — Maureen Long returned home after spending two weeks at St. Elizabeth in Youngstown, fighting the coronavirus.
The 62-year-old is one of 10 siblings of Austintown’s Yeager family. She has five daughters and 11 grandchildren of her own.
“There’s fear, and anxiety and despair,” said April Beck, one of Long’s daughters.
“You would have a moment where you would be crying, and you’d call one of your sisters or a family member and they would pick you up that next day,” said Kathy Meyer, another one of her daughters.
Both can trace the virus to a specific event — a cousin’s bridal shower on March 7.
“Later on, throughout that week, was when we started realizing everybody’s kind of falling ill,” Beck said.
“It was the beginning of the COVID discussion and you kind of heard about it on the news, but you didn’t know the severity of it,” Meyer said.
“When we put it all together, we all, basically, went into self-quarantine,” Beck said.
Most of the people who were at the shower experienced only mild symptoms. Four people tested positive and three were hospitalized — including the husband of a woman who was at the shower, though he was not there.
Long ended up on a ventilator and the antimalarial drug was among those prescribed.
“The hardest part was we couldn’t be there with her,” Meyer said. “So just trying to stay in the loop, trying to figure out where her progress was and then trying to keep everyone else in the loop as well.”
Marianne Yeager, Long’s sister, was also hospitalized and released. Not long after, Long was released, too.
Everyone’s doing better now.
“If anything we took out of this is there is hope,” Meyer said. “We didn’t know where my mother was going to be initially being put on the vent and you instantly realized how severe things can be.”
“The hospital staff has been tremendous and they were so very understanding,” Beck said. “We would call every two to three hours for an update and it was comforting to us, knowing that my mom was lying there but she was in great hands.”
Long was too weak to talk to us, but she did send an email, detailing what happened to her.
She concluded with these thoughts:
“Don’t take anything for granted. Things could change in an instant. My husband and I found that all the little things in life are so unimportant. Family and health are the only things to hold onto.”