FLOYD COUNTY, Ga. - In Floyd County, medics rushed an elementary school principal and his wife to the hospital with high fevers, only for them to find out they both tested positive for COVID-19.
Cave Creek Principal Kyle Abernathy said he's grateful to be able to hear his wife's voice again because, for a few days, he thought he'd lost the love of his life to the coronavirus.
"Life is so fragile," the father of two said. "This is a time for us to be very cautious."
Abernathy said he never imagined the struggle his family would be in.
"I did not know how sick we were. I did not believe we had the virus," he said.
After attending a party at their church in Cartersville on March 1, Kyle started feeling sick. He had bronchitis a couple weeks prior and thought it had come back.
"I was having a very awful cough I could not get rid of," Abernathy said of his symptoms.
A few days later, that cough coupled with a fever left Kyle in the emergency room where he tested positive for the flu.
"I had gotten so sick that I could not even put clothes on. I couldn't even come down the stairs, it was so severe," he said.
Just hours after Kyle was admitted, his wife April was hospitalized too. They were both tested for COVID-19. Both results: positive.
"She was put on a ventilator ... and was actually on the ventilator for nine days," said Abernathy. "They were telling us she may not make it through the weekend."
He said that's when fear and panic set in for him and his children.
"I just called her parents, and we broke down on the phone, and I just began to say 'We're gonna fight this, we're gonna beat this. This is not going to take us out, we are not going to die from COVID-19,'" he said.
Abernathy posted almost daily updates on social media about his and April's conditions, and the prayers poured in.
Eventually, doctors had April participate in a treatment study at Emory Hospital, and through the experimental treatments and strong antibiotics, April's condition seemed to improve.
"She has turned a corner and is doing so very well," said Abernathy. April is now off the ventilator and able to speak. She is in physical therapy getting help to walk and move again after being paralyzed in a medically-induced coma.
Abernathy said he just hopes his family's hardship is a lesson to others to pay attention to this crisis.
"Life can be taken from us tomorrow, but we're to love people, we're to respect people, we're to come together and we'll learn from it," he said.
You can help this family in their time of great need by donating to their GoFundMe here.
April is expected to be out of the hospital fairly soon. The couple's two children are in quarantine with Kyle's parents, and none of them show any symptoms of having the virus.
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