North Texan shares his battle with COVID-19, as DFW Hospital Council continues to stress social distancing

The Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council is urging everyone to obey social distancing guidelines as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

[REPORTER: “If the stay-at-home orders were not in place, what shape would the hospitals be in right now?”]

“The surge would be two to three times what some of the models are showing now. So if we had done nothing, there would be more infections and there’s still going to be a surge, but it would have been even more and more deaths,” said Steve Love, CEO Dallas Forth-Worth Hospital Council.

Love, who serves as an advisor to elected leaders on behalf of hospitals, said area politicians are receiving some pushback from some businesses and workers about the stay-at-home order.

“We know that this is an economic disaster for many of them,” he added.

Still, the DFW Hospital Council believes it’s critical to saving lives.

“Now the big question is when will the surge come and how big will the surge be, because that’s when we’re really going to stretch the resources,” he said.

The Hospital Council believes the surge will hit, locally, around the first and second week of May. Love said he concerned about a number of hospital needs, including PPE and masks.

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One North Texas man who has tested positive for COVID-19 just got out of the hospital a few days ago.

His story began with mild symptoms, but later, while staying at the hospital, he said he was afraid to go to sleep at night, fearing he might not wake up.

“A pretty scary feeling to think I could die from whatever this is that I have, you know, pneumonia plus something, probably COVID-19.” Andy Fambrough said.

Fambrough learned he tested positive for the coronavirus during an eight-night stay at a Fort Worth hospital.

“A shortness of breath I had never felt before,” he added. “It’s an experience I’ve never had before in my life because, like you said, I’m a healthy 50-year-old guy who just so happens to have arthritis but no big deal right? I live with that every day.”

Fambrough, who lives with the autoimmune disease rheumatoid arthritis, reached out to FOX 4 to share his story.

He said he hadn’t been feeling well since mid-February, with some sinus drainage, shortness of breath, but by mid-March he developed pneumonia and learned he had the virus.

He believes he may have infected others before his symptoms were showing.

Looking back, he says he would’ve stayed home instead of carrying on with life, something hospital officials continue to stress.

“Everything is shortness of breath, to stand up out of the chair,” Fambrough said.

Fambrough, who was released from the hospital on Thursday, believes he still has a lengthy road to full recovery.

“How has this changed you? Well, number one, to certainly appreciate life more when you can breathe,” he added.

The simple act of breathing is something he took for granted. It’s a message he wants to place inside the minds of those who have been able to avoid the virus, so they can continue to avoid it.

“It rattles what you believe you are,” he added.