‘It was the sickest I have ever been:’ Kent man recovering from COVID-19

SEATTLE – We’re beginning to hear stories of our friends and neighbors who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are now recovering.

Ryan Hirst, 36, tells Q13 News he began experiencing serious symptoms earlier this month and is now recovering in isolation at his Kent home.

He credits his faith, friends and family for tremendous support and says he is grateful to be feeling better today.

Hirst has been home bound for nearly two weeks with a 7-month-old Bernedoodle, and now a positive diagnosis.

“It was the sickest I have ever been, for sure,” he said.

Hirst called his primary care provider and learned testing for the disease was available. But according to Dr. Braden Andersen, delays in testing due to high demand meant Hirst had to wait for results.

“As long as we have these (long) days of processing, that’s a significant problem,” said Andersen.

Hirst continued waiting in isolation with his dog. Some days the symptoms were worse than others, once forcing him to climb up his stairs on his hands and knees.

“Coughing so much it was like a panic attack almost,” he said.

It took 8 days for results to reveal he was positive for COVID-19.

Hirst has been sharing his journey on social media and believes everyone should take social distancing seriously and call your doctor if you feel sick.

“Listening to your body, right?" he recommended. "Not dismissing any symptoms."

More people are seeing Dr. Andersen at Kent Family Practice Clinic for testing and the number of regular doctor visits have been overshadowed by those with respiratory complaints.

“Significant influx of acutely ill people,” said Andersen

After everything he’s been through, Hirst shared sincere appreciation for the nurses, doctors and others fighting for patients everywhere.

“Hats off to the medical community, putting themselves right in harm’s way,” he said.