• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Bowman describes recovery as an ‘answered prayer’

It wasn’t until Rhonda Bowman couldn’t get up to answer the door for her son and daughter-in-law that the 69-year-old Woodford County woman realized, “I was sick. I was very, very sick.” “And when I stood up,” she recalled, “I just ended up falling down to the floor. “For two nights, I had tried to go in the kitchen and fix supper, and I just didn’t have the wind to get there. I just couldn’t get there.” Her family called for an ambulance and they made her go to the hospital on March 26. “If my son and daughter-in-law hadn’t made me go to the hospital,” said Bowman, “things might have turned out a little more different.” When her medical providers told her, “they were going to test me for the coronavirus,” she responded, ‘We don’t go anywhere.’ And we don’t.” To her surprise, Bowman tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 and would spend 13 days at Saint Joseph Hospital. Shortness of breath resulted in her getting physical therapy in the hospital to help get her back on her feet. More therapy with a home health nurse will continue for at least a few weeks, she said. Her advice to anyone having COVID-19 symptoms: get tested to be sure you don’t have the coronavirus. “If nothing else, for yourself, for the people you love, for the people you don’t know,” she said. Bowman described her recovery as an “answered prayer,” and urges anyone diagnosed with the disease “to keep a positive attitude, pray a whole lot.” The second person diagnosed with coronavirus in Woodford County said she remains on supplemental oxygen at home and still gets winded when she gets up and walks. Both she and her husband suffered from bacterial pneumonia, but he was negative for coronavirus and others in her family did not get sick, she said. Bowman said she was dumbfounded when asked how she may have gotten the virus, but she does have her suspicions. “I think that I got it from Amazon packages,” she said. “I got Amazon packages a lot. My husband didn’t touch them. I would bring them in.” As soon as she’s well enough, Bowman said she will donate plasma. “Absolutely I’m going to, and will more than once if they’ll let me,” she said. Doctors are using convalescent plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19 to treat patients with the disease caused by the coronavirus. “It’s saving another life or helping to. The way that times are now, you just can’t sit around and do nothing,” said Bowman. She shared her story with the Sun to encourage other people who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate their plasma, which contains disease-fighting antibodies. “It’s nothing more than giving blood,” said Bowman, who will celebrate her 70th birthday on May 23, but was identified as a 70-year-old Woodford County woman in the daily count of Kentuckians diagnosed with COVID-19 – “doggone it.” Bowman and her husband, Larry, have lived in Milner – just past New Hope Baptist Church – for 41 years, she said. They have six grandchildren: five girls and a boy.

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