A Red River County man who works at a maximum-security prison is sharing his story after testing positive for COVID-19 on Apr. 15.
Bogata resident Joey Tatom said he went to Health Care Express in Paris to get tested for the coronavirus after he “felt the worst he has ever felt.”
“He has a cough, headache and body aches,” said wife Gavin Tatom. “His fever started the day before he got tested but we had already scheduled the test by the time he got a fever. And it was low grade. It never got above 101. Cough and body aches and fever were the worst for him. He said he has never felt that bad.”
Tatom said she believes her husband contracted the virus from his workplace in Bowie County which has had multiple confirmed cases of the virus.
“We knew he would end up getting it with so many cases in the prison and only being provided cloth facemasks which is why we had already started to quarantine,” she said.
Parents of a three-year-old and an eight-month-old, Tatom said at first the couple was terrified not knowing how bad it would get but now they are relieved that it is almost over.
“The kids and I have shown no symptoms of the virus. As soon as he started showing symptoms, we immediately quarantined ourselves and have been absolutely nowhere. Before that we only went to the story for essential items,” said Tatom. “Even though neither I or the girls are showing symptoms, we are still quarantined along with Joey because we could be carriers of this virus.”
And whilst Joey only tested positive for COVID-19 on Apr. 15, he is already feeling almost 100% better.
“He is feeling almost back to 100%. We are relieved that his symptoms have not worsened,” said Tatom. “His cough is almost gone completely, he has had no fever for almost four days and the body aches and headache have finally let up. He does still have some lingering shortness of breath but again, it is nothing to rush him to the hospital over.”
Tatom wanted to reiterate to locals that nobody in their household will be leaving for another two weeks and that they are following all the guidelines to protect not only themselves but the local community also.
“We have family members that will be leaving our necessities for us in a drop and run type system so that we do not spread this virus to them and we will not have contact with ANYONE.”
She further said, “We have received so much love and support from our community and we want to thank everyone for the words of encouragement and prayers! It was not easy coming out with the information that the virus case was in our household. We felt that it was important to let the community know that we have taken the precautions to keep Bogata and the surrounding communities safe.”