Leroy Windley, 51 of Raleigh, N.C., told ABC11 that being in a dark room sends him back to his time hospitalized at WakeMed, as he remembers other coronavirus patients yelling out in pain.
He reportedly suffered pneumonia and minor strokes, impairing his speech and mobility. According to the outlet, speech and physical therapy helped him return to work full time, with some limitations.
“Emotionally it was tough to see someone you love go from healthy to can’t walk, can’t talk. I had to feed him, I had to bathe him. At this point, I’m driving him to wherever he needs to go,” Windley’s fiancé, LaVerne Mayard, told the outlet.
However, Windley still carries an emotional burden from his battle with coronavirus over the summer, detailing his PTSD to the outlet.
“Just being left in that dark room. It brings back thoughts. Not knowing if you’re going to make it. You have the chills. The night sweats, you’re sore, you’re tossing and turning,” Windley told ABC11.
Reports of coronavirus patients battling PTSD surfaced earlier in the pandemic.
“PTSD is most likely when things occur over an extended period of time where you just have to be in it or sit in it,” Dr. Joe Parks, medical director at the National Council for Behavioral Health, previously told Fox News. “Combat is like that: You’re in your foxhole, you’re being shot at, and you have to stay there. Women get PTSD from domestic violence and they can’t get out. Clearly, coronavirus can have that effect on people. You feel threatened and your life’s in danger, and you can’t do anything about it.”
ABC11 reported that Windley intends on seeking help and he warned all people to take the virus seriously. Windley took issue with President Trump’s recent statements after his own coronavirus diagnosis when the president said: “Don’t let it dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it.”
“It’s very unbelievable that you would tell someone don’t be afraid,” Windley told the outlet. “Everyone should be afraid.”
Fox News’ Audrey Conklin contributed to this report.