Former Mn. 30A State Representative Nick Zerwas of Elk River issued a stern warning to citizens of the state in regards to COVID-19.
“This is very serious. We all need to take it very serious,” Zerwas said, “and we need to watch out for one another.”
Zerwas, who in November of last year resigned his legislative seat following another battle with heart surgery, gave a impassioned supplication last week testifying about his recent battle with the coronavirus and hospitalization that scared him greatly.
Zerwas posted on social media the “scare” he went through after contracting a cough he felt he picked up from his four-year-old son the Sunday before. Zerwas said he did not sleep very well that Sunday and coughed through most of the night.
Zerwas, who has endured 11 heart surgeries over the course of his life dating back to childhood when doctors found a heart defect, had to resign his legislative seat in December — a seat he sat on for seven years.
By Monday, it had become obvious that the cough was more serious and not connected to his son Jackson, who tested negative for COVID-19. Zerwas struggled to even walk down the stairs, finding simple acts of movement exhausting, and noticed that his home pulse oximeter showed his oxygen dropping to dangerously low levels.
Ultimately, Zerwas landed at North Memorial’s Maple Grove location, where medical staff isolated him in the ICU after he tested positive for the virus.
“That first night, when I thought that perhaps it was going to get to a point where I would need to be on a ventilator, there was a time there where I was really, really terrified,” Zerwas said, “I was concerned that this thing was going to go downhill very, very rapidly.”
Zerwas, fortunately, avoided the worst-case scenario, thanks to a combination of convalescent plasma, remdesivir and steroids – an advanced treatment method that would not have been available when the pandemic started nine months ago. It’s also the same treatment Presdint Donald Trump received when he contracted the virus.
“Quite honestly, from that point on, it was pretty miraculous, in a matter of 12 to 18 hours just how much better I felt after that treatment started,” Zerwas said. “And for the next four days, we continued that treatment in the hospital. And I was fortunate to have sprung loose on Friday.”
Zerwas closed his Twitter thread by thanking healthcare workers and describing the virus as “serious” and “scary.”
“I honestly believe I made it through COVID because of the amazing care I received at all levels from North Memorial.”
“Now, I won’t get preachy....and I get that my pre-existing condition made me especially susceptible to COVID, but this virus is serious and it’s scary. At one point Monday when I was in the ICU alone and my O2 levels were not coming back up I thought I might be placed on a vent(ilator).”
“At that point I was terrified I wouldn’t ever get off that and I wouldn’t hug my wife or son ever again. This s*** is real and scared the absolute hell out of me. I’m home now, both Bette and I are still sick, but we are gonna make it. Be smart, be safe. God Bless.”
He closed with this...
“I wanted to do my part to let people know just how scary this can get and how quickly it can head downhill.”
Minnesota is currently seeing exponential growth in cases, which in the coming weeks will likely have an even more severe impact on the state’s healthcare system.