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Woman w/ cystic fibrosis shares recovery story

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FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Ohio (10TV) – A Lancaster woman is sharing her story of testing positive for COVID-19.

Robyn Petras said it all started in March. She was watching a news conference with Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton and realized she had some symptoms – low-grade temperature, fatigue, and dry cough. As someone with cystic fibrosis, she knew she needed to contact her doctors right away. She said she took a test and it came back positive days later. It is unclear how she got it.

“For the first four days of symptoms, I did not feel sick. It wasn’t until day-five that my lungs started producing and expelling extremely thick infected mucus. At that time, I knew no matter what virus I would have gotten that could happen. I do have bacteria in my lungs from CF and any illness exasperates that. But, I still felt fine. I was exercising every day – two hours a day doing cardio,” Petras said. “When I got the call, I was so shocked it was positive. I couldn’t speak for a few moments.”

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Petras said immediately her team of health care providers put together a plan. As of now, she believes she has made a full recovery. For at least the next 30 days, she said she will not leave her home to keep herself safe and others.

“I don’t know why I survived this with such ease,” Petras said. “I did immediately revert back to doing all my airway clearance treatments that we have been taught in the CF community to do all of our lives. I did everything in my power to physically stay healthy by continuing to exercise, avoid people, and eat healthy.”

Petras said among the most difficult parts of navigating this diagnosis is knowing she could’ve unknowingly spread it to others. The local health department contacted everyone she had been in contact with previously. Petras made calls and took to Facebook to let everyone know she had it too.

“It was disheartening,” she said. “I was at first embarrassed but knew I wanted to be transparent, honest, and open. I knew that was the most loving thing I could do for my friends and family. My push has been from that day forward, stay home.”

She told 10TV’s Angela Reighard she wanted to share her story in hopes it will help others take this seriously.

“There is hope, but it is also imperative that we stay at home and follow the directions given by our officials and our medical people. Not only do we need to keep our friends and family safe, and even the stranger in the grocery store, but we need to stay safe because our medical workers need to be safe. We need to do everything we can so that we are not exposing ourselves to this. One exposure has a critical impact to our medical workers. We cannot put them knowingly in that position if we can control it,” she said.

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