IRVING, Texas - An Irving woman, who is living with an underlying health condition, is warning others about COVID-19's highly contagious spread.
She contracted the virus from her mother, who likely brought it home from her job at a hospital.
Cell phone messages were the only way Kiara Hearn was able to communicate with her mother while fighting COVID-19 for 18 days in the hospital.
And because of a pre-existing condition, she wasn’t sure if she’d make it.
“Being a spiritual woman, a woman of God, all I could do was pray,” Hearn’s mother, Rhonda Hinton, said.
Coincidentally, the 29-year old believes she caught the virus from her mother, who works at a local hospital.
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“I would get fevers up to 104 and I would shake. We would have chills, both of us would sort of just lie in bed all day and be really fatigued,” Hearn recalled.
Her mother was also sick.
“It was painful. People don’t realize that it felt like they were ripping the muscles out of my body,” Hinton said.
But Hinton was not nearly as sick as her daughter.
Two years ago, Hearn was diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissue.
She had already been taking the medication, hydroxychloroquine, to treat her lupus. It's also been touted as a possible COVID-19 treatment, but It didn't help her.
“This drug, that I was hoping would cure or at least help, isn’t doing that,” Hearn said.
She ended up on a ventilator for five days.
“And right before, like, I was going under, I was like, ‘Mom, everything is going to be OK,’” Hearn said. “Did I know it was going to be OK? Not really.”
But even with her pre-existing condition, she beat it. She said hospital workers helped facilitate communication with her mother while she recovered.
“They knew that my mother couldn’t see me, but they set up ZOOM calls with her so that we could sort of see each other and talk,” Hearn said.
Now, the two feel as fortunate as ever to still be here, together.
“What do I take away from it? We have to be careful,” Hinto added.
“Right now, while there’s not a direct sort of known way to treat the virus or a vaccine for the virus, the only way to truly protect yourself is to not expose yourself to it,” Hearn said.
The two said they’re still tired and running at about 75 percent.