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Coronavirus worries for vulnerable Georgetown teen

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Posted at 4:49 PM, Mar 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-13 16:50:02-04

GEORGETOWN, Ky. (LEX 18) — While many people are still adjusting to a new state of living with the coronavirus threat, 13-year-old Maddie Blankenship is used to the changes. She self-isolates a lot and wears masks daily.

Blankenship is a liver recipient who has a severely vulnerable immune system. Because she gets sick easily, the coronavirus is a real threat to her. "For me, it could be very fatal. This could kill me very easily." said Blankenship.

She's well now, but as a precaution, her doctors have ordered her to stay home with no visitors. The slightest exposure to the virus or any illness could send Blankenship to the hospital for days and weeks. It's happened most of her life, she says. "I used to call it my home away from home because I was there almost as much as I was at home."

Stephanie Blankenship, her mother, says she knows there is a lot of frustration over the coronavirus and its enormous impact on everyone, but she hopes people follow all the medical advice.

"Think about how it could impact someone you run into at the grocery store. Just because it may not necessarily affect you, it really could for a lot of people. And like Maddie, a lot of people look fine and healthy when they're really not, you just don't know." said Stephanie Blankenship. "People are getting a taste of what it's like for an immunosuppressed person to live on a daily basis."

As for her daughter Maddie, she's ready to leave the house and socialize again. "I have to wear masks, I do all the extra precautions that some people don't understand, but i have to do it. I don't want to get sick."