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'I’m facing anything from pneumonia to death' | COVID-19 perspective from KSDK anchor who's immunocompromised

5 On Your Side anchor Anne Allred writes frankly about the fears and anxieties she's facing as someone who has a compromised immune system

ST. LOUIS — As confirmed coronavirus cases continue to grow in the St. Louis area, so are the fears of many people in our area.

Most of you are healthy and will have mild to no symptoms if you contract COVID-19.

I’m facing anything from pneumonia to death.

Welcome to my daily life during the coronavirus crisis.

I spent the weekend basically losing my mind. I am going to put myself out there and admit my anxiety was through the roof. I kept my family in the house all weekend as things rapidly changed from concerning to crisis mode across the country.

Seventy-two hours in the house together has felt like a week already.

As many of you know, I had a kidney transplant three years ago. I swallow three medicines every day to suppress my immune system. It basically keeps my body from thinking, “Oh hey, what’s that other person’s kidney doing in here? Let’s attack it and get rid of it!”

But one thing I haven’t shared a lot with the public, I am also getting IVs every three weeks. This has been happening since the kidney failure and is nothing to be alarmed about. I just didn’t talk about it. The medicine in the IV bag is also an immunosuppressant. It’s because I have atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS). It’s a genetic blood disease that basically creates tiny blood clots all over your body if you don’t take this medicine.

Credit: Anne Allred

These medications are why coronavirus makes me extremely high risk. My doctor has told me to stay home for the next two weeks until we know more.

The kidney failure and the triggering of the aHUS happened when I was pregnant in 2016. I was severely preeclamptic and it all snowballed from there. I delivered my only child, Nora, at 28 weeks. She was less than two pounds.

However, hindsight being 20/20, I wouldn’t change a thing. Nora was worth every horrible, painful minute in the last four years. She fills every minute with a joy and love I never knew was possible.

Credit: Anne Allred

So, as much as you may want to lock your kids in a closet by the end of the week because they’re driving you nuts, take some extra time for hugs and “I love yous.”

Kids feel the tension, too.

Uncertain times like this make you realize how fragile life is. Each one of us has the individual power to decide our actions and respect the health of others.

I’m going to do my best to protect myself and my family, serve you as a 5 On Your Side viewer the best I can from this computer at home and stay present. One moment and one day at a time. We’ll get through this.

I’ll write again tomorrow.


5 On Your Side continuing coverage: 

Everything we know about coronavirus in the St. Louis area

List of major school districts closed in the St. Louis area due to coronavirus concerns

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