WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. (WAOW) — For many across the country, coronavirus stories are hitting close to home right now. Just like it is for the Radtke family.
Lonn Radtke's journey started with feeling fatigued.
"I had just recently had a birthday and I was like oh am I getting that old and just getting this tired now," Lonn said. "I just felt weak and a lack of appetite."
That fatigue and loss of appetite lasted about four to five days, and his wife grew concerned and said he needed to go to the clinic to at least get checked out. Little did he know, his symptoms would turn out to be caused by something much worse.
"I had COVID-pneumonia, I get a lot of questions now, 'hey where did you get the COVID?' and, you know, if I would’ve known where I would’ve gotten it or known where it came from I would’ve stayed away," Lonn said.
So, he went to the clinic, then was transferred to Aspirus Wausau Hospital, in hopes of survival.
"I still remember the ambulance person that was with me, a gentleman in the back, and he goes 'you can fight this he goes you can do it' and I remember those words," Lonn said.
While in the hospital his case progressed. He spent 11 days in the hospital, four of which were spent laying on his stomach. Only able to communicate with his family through Facetime.
He said at one point the doctor had come in and told him that if his oxygen level didn’t improve that they may have to put him on a ventilator and he should start making some phone calls.
Some families aren't as lucky to see their loved ones recover from such a serious case.
"Those people aren’t just numbers, their names, their grandpa's, grandma's, brothers, and sisters," Lonn said.
While it's hard to be away from family and to remember to bring your mask everywhere you go, it could make a difference.
Lonn's experience of overcoming COVID-19 provides an idea of how precious life really is.
Lonn also says he wants to help others just like they helped him by giving plasma, in hopes of saving someone else's life.