With many things, it is said that the impact cannot truly be explained until it is experienced on a personal level.
That holds true in the case of Missouri City District B Councilman Jeffrey Boney, who recently returned home after a battle with COVID-19 hospitalized him for more than a week.
“I’m fortunate to be home now and on the road to recovery,” he said Monday. “…This really has been a test of my faith.”
The test to which Boney refers is the upper-respiratory disease caused by the new strain of coronavirus. Fort Bend County officials had reported 318 cases of COVID-19 as of Monday afternoon, including six deaths.
Boney’s experience, he said, is a lesson in not ignoring your body – no matter how innocent the symptoms.
When he tested positive March 27, Boney said he coughed up blood, prompting a visit to his primary care physician, who initially told Boney he had food poisoning. Absent were the typical symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, cough and shortness of breath.
Still, Boney said, his body felt “off.” After U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee connected him with Dr. Joseph Varon and Dr. Joseph Gathe at United Memorial Medical Center, Boney said he tested positive for the virus and was admitted March 27.
“I’m just truly blessed that I had a great team of medical professionals in the right place at the right time to help me be able to fight through this,” he said.
What transpired next was something Boney never anticipated. Following several tests, Boney said doctors discovered several underlying health conditions that led to his initial symptoms and presented issues when coupled with COVID-19. There were spots of pneumonia across both of his lungs, Boney said, which prompted his admission to the Intensive Care Unit.
While he was in ICU, Boney said doctors found problems with multiple other internal organs that required treatment along with COVID-19.
“They found that the coronavirus had really been on the attack to my other vital organs – my kidneys, liver, lungs and heart – and they were having to overcompensate for the fact that the virus was attacking me internally,” he said. “My heart health was deteriorating, too. So they had a myriad of issues to address and deal with at one time.”
However, Boney praised the work of Varon and Gathe, who he said began aggressively treating his symptoms one at a time. Boney is also on blood thinners as he deals with a pulmonary embolism (or blood clot) that was discovered on his right lung during the course of his treatment.
Fast forward to Sunday, when Boney wrote on Facebook that doctors anticipated his full recovery over the coming months from both COVID-19 and the embolism. He was tested again for COVID-19 on Saturday and is awaiting the results.
“Thank you all so much for your continued prayers, as I still have a journey ahead of me,” he wrote on Facebook.
Boney’s friends on Facebook were glad to hear his good news.
“I am so happy for you and your family. May God heal your body completely – be blessed and stay safe,” Vivian Singleton wrote.
Added Katy Beadle in another Facebook comment: “So glad you are doing well and going home. I wish you a strong and speedy recovery.”
Now that he is on the road to recovery, however, Boney said his main concern is the people of Missouri City and Fort Bend County as well as healthcare professionals searching for a cure. Given that the virus has now hit close for him, he knows how lethal it can potentially be.
“Protect yourself and protect your loved ones and those around you. This is such a vicious virus – it’s unrelenting, unrepentant and seeking to steal, kill and destroy,” he said. “I’m prayerful that they’re working on trying to find the best possible solution to try deal with addressing and eradicating this virus. That’s my true prayer.”
Boney urged citizens to take heed of recommendations from county leaders and health officials about social distancing, washing their hands and using hand sanitizer.
He also told them to listen to their bodies.
“This is something we have never seen or experienced. There’s no cookie-cutter remedy or cure. It attacks everybody’s body differently,” he said. “In my case, I wouldn’t have been diagnosed and been able to have proper care to deal with all the other underlying issues that I ended up experiencing.”
Through it all, he said he was guided by his Christian faith. Along with the doctors who treated him, that was his lifeline.
“We often times talk about having faith in God, a higher power or anything bigger than ourselves – it saved me,” he said. “The decisions that I’ve gone through in my life from an adversity standpoint really prepared me to deal with the biggest challenge of my life.”
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