Despite testing negative for COVID-19, doctors treated Adelanto Mayor Pro Tem Gerry Hernandez as if he had the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, and his wife says that action saved the city official's life.
"He lost his kidney function; he lost his lung function; he was starting to lose his function of his heart beating regularly," said Tracy Hernandez, the mayor pro tem's wife.
"It's just so scary how quickly it can go through a family, the way it did with ours," Tracy said.
Gerry Hernandez is at St. Mary Medical Center in Apple Valley after, his wife says, his symptoms began in mid-February. Gerry had a bad cough, which made it hard to breathe because he also has asthma.
"Every time he would lay down, he would have this horrific cough, and he was like 'Tracy, its like I'm trying to gasp for air; my inhaler is not working,'" said Tracy.
On March 19, the symptoms got so unbearable that Gerry was taken by ambulance to the hospital and put on a ventilator. Tracy says he was then tested for COVID-19, but it took roughly a week to get the result back from the lab.
When the result came back, they said he was negative for COVID-19, Tracy said.
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But doctors at the hospital had Gerry retested.
During this critical time, Tracy says doctors continued to treat Gerry as if he had COVID-19, just in case the original test was wrong. Days later, the second test result came back and said he was positive for the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.
"I was contacted that he had a positive status of COVID-19," Tracy said.
Tracy says Gerry's doctors saved her husband's life, because they didn't let the false negative test change their treatment.
"Doctors usually go with their gut, and their gut was that this was COVID-19, and they still treated him the same," Tracy said. "And I am very grateful for that."
Gerry is showing some signs of improvement and so is his 72-year-old mother, who is also battling the virus at another hospital, according to Tracy.
Tracy believes she also had COVID-19 but only felt mild symptoms, and she's hoping others will hear her story and do everything to stop the virus from spreading.
"If you are going out, make sure you are wearing that protective mask," Tracy says. "At least make sure you have that protective barrier, so that air droplets don't get into your nose and mouth, so it's protected."
Doctors are optimistic that her husband will recover, Tracy said, but it’s likely he’ll be in the hospital for several more weeks before that happens.