AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – After months of helping battle COVID-19 as a registered nurse, Mary Ann Flick was in need of a vacation. She didn’t know it would be on that trip when she would most likely contract the coronavirus.
“To go and have a little mental health break and putting down your guard seeing people you’re close with it’s been tough,” said Mary Ann Flick. “This is the reality and the wakeup call a lot of people need, and I needed, just to say, this is still around and it’s not something we should take lightly at all.”
Flick is just 28 and is part of the age group with the largest amount of cases in Colorado, according to date from CDPHE. Last week her symptoms were so bad she went to the emergency room.
“I was having some pretty bad muscle aches. Fever, chills, and some headaches, loss of taste, appetite and smell,” she said. “I could not get comfortable. I was afraid it was my appendix. So I did go to the emergency department overnight. As a nurse, saying you went to the emergency department, it takes a lot to get there.”
She was not admitted to the hospital and feels lucky her illness has remained mild in her terms.
“My husband and I have both taken this so seriously. Especially being the nurse and working in the hospital and taking those extra precautions. And even working during the surge of March and April and May I was working with COVID patients directly. It’s been hard thinking about how I let my guard down for a split second. No matter what it can still happen.”
Flick has been quarantined since her return from vacation. She hasn’t been back to work at UCHealth and likely won’t return for more than a week because of strict protocols the hospital has for employees who are COVID-19 positive.
As she recovers, she’s lending a helping hand to a clinical trial happening at UCHealth around antibody dosage.
“It’s for COVID-positive patients that were tested, you have to start the clinical trial within three days of knowing you are positive. So I started last Thursday. And you had to have symptoms for less than a week. So I fit in that range. It’s called monoclonal antibody study,” Flick said. “The whole reason for this research study is to find out if we can reduce effects of the infection of the virus. But then also reduce the need for medical visits due to COVID.”
She’s hoping it won’t be too much longer until she can return to an active lifestyle. But she’s also hoping other young adults will heed warnings that are becoming abundant.
“People need to take perspective and realize this is bigger than ourselves. And we need to do whatever we can to get over this,” Flick said.