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Melissa DuBay


In June of 2020 I woke up with fever, of 103, body aches and headache. I went to urgent care and was given a Covid 19 test and was told the next day that it was negative and that I probably had some other virus, so drink fluids and take Tylenol.

On the third day of continued fever and chills, I called the advice nurse and was told to go to ER. They did bloodwork and gave me an ultrasound. Then I was told I had severe sepsis and SIRS [systemic inflammatory response syndrome]. That lead to a CT scan and then I was told I had 3 large abscesses in my liver which had to be drained, and pleural effusion. They drained fluid from my lung and gave me a thoracentesis, which took a liter of fluid out of my chest wall. It was the worst pain of my life and I was terrified. Due to Covid, the hospital didn’t allow visitors either.

I was given so many fluids that I gained 50 lbs in the two weeks I was hospitalized. During that time I didn’t know if I would survive because the illness was rapidly damaging my organs. When I was released I was sent home with an IV for another 4 weeks and had to have nurse visits each week, a walker and a physical therapist. It’s now 08/19/20 as I write this and I still have pain although my CT scan shows the lung effusion has resolved and my liver just shows scarring. I’m hoping the pain will go away, but it still hurts to breath deeply, sneeze, cough, hiccup etc. Before this, I’d never known about sepsis. There needs to be much more awareness. If I hadn’t called the advice nurse that night, it might have been too late by morning.

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