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'You're not invincible:' 25-year-old CNA, nursing student shares story after recovering from COVID-19

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Michaela Dunn’s life changed when she started feeling symptoms of the coronavirus around March 14.

“I started having a sore throat, and a cough, and overall I just didn’t feel good," Dunn said.

The 25-year-old is a nursing student who also works as a CNA at Froedtert Hospital.

She quickly told her managers about her symptoms, was sent to the hospital’s clinic and tested positive.

From there she was told to self-quarantine, and she took medicine.

“I was to the point where I was sleeping with like four or five pillows underneath me to try and make it easier to breathe," she explained.

For the next three weeks, her condition worsened.

Family encouraged her to call 9-1-1 and be taken to the emergency room.

“My [oxygen] stat was 81%, my lips were blue, I couldn’t talk really," she recalled. “I was put on some oxygen, and I was given a breathing treatment.”

A chest X-Ray confirmed she had developed pneumonia.

She was given antibiotics, an inhaler and sent home.

“I would set alarms on my phone, like every hour, because one of my biggest fears was that I wouldn’t wake up," she explained.

By week four, Dunn started feeling better.

With her symptoms gone, she was soon cleared to return to work.

She said she now better understands her patients, and has a message for her young peers.

“That could have been me, I could have been intubated," she said. "I could have been in the ICU. You’re not invincible, even if you’re young.”

Dunn isn’t sure where she caught the virus.

She now said she wants to donate blood or plasma in the future to help COVID-19 patients and research.

Here's a list of symptoms Dunn said she experienced: body aches, weakness, sweats and chills, shortness of breath, loss of taste and smell, coughing, loss of appetite, loss of voice and tiredness/lethargy.

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