UNION, W.Va. — Monroe County native Kelly Crosier thought she had just about seen it all during her 40 years as a paramedic but then COVID-19 came.
Crosier, 58, who started making ambulance runs shortly after her high school graduation in 1979, recently spent more than a week in the intensive care unit at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, Virginia, after contracting the virus.
Crosier, who was just released from the hospital last Wednesday, told MetroNews she got sick very quickly at the end of August.
“I was tired from just working a lot of hours and hadn’t given it a lot of thought but I woke up in the middle of the night all of the sudden with this terrible cough and difficulty breathing and body aches and right then I knew I had it,” Crosier said.
The ambulance crew that works out of Peterstown had been down to just a handful of workers in the days before Crosier fell ill. More than half dozen of them had gotten sick with the virus and there was a serious outbreak at the Springfield Center nursing home in Lindside.
Crosier describes it as “a couple of weeks of flat-out craziness.” She said she felt relatively safe but they had transported “some very sick patients.”
Crosier, the daughter of former Monroe County Delegate and Sheriff, the late Gerald Crosier, was diagnosed with COVID-19 at Greenbrier Valley Medical Center. She spent a few days there before being transported to UVA.
“I knew I had it and I knew it wasn’t good,” she said. “I’m normally a fairly healthy person but when it affected my lungs it was like nothing I had never experienced.”
Crosier was put on oxygen at UVA. She said one thing she noticed from the doctors there is that they took nothing for granted when it came to COVID-19.
“You could make a couple of strides forward and they probably took that less for granted but if you took even a half a slide backwards they were all hands on deck. Because I guess they’ve had so many patients who they thought were getting better but turned and got worse,” Crosier said.
It’s than unpredictability of COVID-19 that showed itself in Crosier’s case. She was wearing the proper PPE and following all of the guidelines yet she still contracted the virus.
“I think doing everything you can do—when you got a disease that spreads my mere particles it’s almost impossible to predict where that might go or how it might leak out,” she said.
She’s now recovering at home but dealing with the all-out exhaustion that many have described after coming down with the virus. She said she feels like someone who has just run a marathon. She hopes to get back in the ambulance soon.
“I’m anxious to get down there and start picking up my share of the work again, helping to take care of folks and doing what’s right for our community,” she said.