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Kentucky's first COVID-19 patient reflects on her recovery

Posted at 6:42 PM, Apr 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-09 20:07:06-04

CYNTHIANA, Ky. (LEX 18) — "I've never felt this kind of sickness before."

Those were the words of 27-year-old Julia Donohue, the first known individual to test positive for COVID-19 in Kentucky. Donohue was healthy and not someone considered high-risk to get the coronavirus. However, in early March, the Cynthiana baker fell dangerously ill in a just a few days.

"It only took four or five days for me to start losing my breath and where I couldn't breathe," Donohue reflected. "I couldn't even leave my bed and go to the next room because I'd have a coughing fit, I'd be gasping for air. It felt like I was just suffocating."

Donohue spent nine days at UK Hospital on a ventilator.

"I think it was God. I think he wanted me to live. I thank all the people that prayed for me, really appreciate those prayers," Donohue said. "I'm a fighter. I didn't want to die. I had my husband right next to me."

Fortunately, her husband has not gotten sick and Donohue has recently tested negative for COVID 19. She understands people are tired of staying home, but is talking publicly to LEX 18 so others can understand how how serious the virus is and how most people survive it.

Donohue commends Governor Beshear for his swift actions. She hopes people listen to him. She says COVID 19 almost took her life.

"I think he's been pretty accurate of what he's saying. He's just trying to keep us safe," Donohue said of Beshear. "It's better to be safe than sorry. You wouldn't want to get this virus. I promise, it's not a fun thing. If we just listen and do what we're told eventually it's going to pass," said Donohue