LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Sheila Thornsberry's case is one of now over 100,000 cases of coronavirus that have been reported in Kentucky since the pandemic began in March.
On Wednesday, Gov. Andy Beshear said the commonwealth has confirmed 101,494 cases of coronavirus and 1,442 deaths, with cases now escalating at a concerning rate.
While most people who catch the virus recover, some, like Thornsberry, struggle with a long recovery.
The mother of two was unable to see her children for six weeks. She was hospitalized in April and spent 18 days on a ventilator.
After she was released from the hospital, she had to undergo months of physical therapy to regain her strength to walk.
"It's hard to totally comprehend the seriousness of it unless you have actually known someone that had it like that," Thornsberry said.
She returned to work as a physicians' assistant in August but still feels the lasting effects of the virus.
"I get short of breath and my heart will race as well," she said.
Despite rising case numbers, Thornsberry said she continues to meet people who don't take the virus seriously or don't believes it's real.
"It's not a farce," she said. "Yes, some people can get it and have absolutely no symptoms and other people are dying from it. It's a serious illness and it still needs to be taken seriously."
On Monday, Gov. Beshear unveiled new guidelines for counties that fall into the state's "red zone" designation for reports of new coronavirus cases. People in "red zone" counties are asked to avoid all gatherings, work from home if possible, and only shop for essential items.