CLEVELAND – One day he’s coaching the biggest game of the season, the next day he’s battling the worst chills and pains he’d ever experienced in his life.
Cleveland State University women’s head basketball coach, Chris Kielsmeier, 44, had no known underlying health conditions when he learned he had COVID-19
He never imagined the end of the team’s season would mark the beginning of his onset with the disease.
“I was fatigued just like every coach is in the country in March, but I really didn’t think anything about being sick or nothing, not a thing,” said Kielsmeier.
Just as the pandemic ended college basketball season, Kielsmeier’s symptoms began to worsen.
“When I woke up on Thursday I didn’t feel any better and, and then it really started to hit like, ‘Gosh, could this be the coronavirus?’” asked Kielsmeier.
A positive test showed Kielsmeier had COVID-19. He went home to self-quarantine, but quickly found himself back at the hospital.
“I started to cough up a little bit of blood, and at that point I knew that this may be really turning for the worse,” said Kielsmeier.
Kielsmeier spent six days at Cleveland Clinic Hillcrest Hospital. He received an immunosuppressive drug, hydroxychloroquine, and antibiotics before being discharged to recover at home.
“He was definitely very scared. He was really sick. He had a bad cough, just generalized achiness,” said Janice Crow-Guzik, RN, one of Kielsmeier’s nurses.
He thanks nurses like Janice and the rest of his team who worked tirelessly to restore his physical and mental health.
Even though it’s taken him longer than expected to get back into the swing of things, he continues fighting every day.
“You got to keep your hope. You got to keep your faith. And you just got to believe that everything is going to come back to the new norm and a better new norm at some point in the future,” said Kielsmeier.
He took acetaminophen to aid in his recovery at home. Since he was discharged at the end of March, he still battles extreme fatigue on a daily basis. He hopes his story reminds others to take COVID-19 seriously and practice prevention.