'We nearly lost him,' Barrie, Ont., man battles COVID-19 and shares his terrifying story
BARRIE -- What started as a headache for Rene Segura quickly turned into a battle for his life after he was diagnosed with COVID-19 and put on life support.
"He was having trouble simply walking from the bed to the washroom without getting winded," recalls Tracy Segura, Rene's wife. "I kept asking him, 'Do you feel like you have a cold, or what's going on?'"
The next morning, the couple went to the assessment clinic and were told Rene had a cold. He was sent home to self-isolate and told to monitor his symptoms.
Just over a week later, on March 18, Rene's breathing problems worsened.
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At the urging of his wife, the 41-year-old father of three went to Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre in Barrie.
"They put me on ventilation, and I honestly thought I was going in there to get some support for some breathing, not realizing how far away [I was] from going home. It was a scary feeling." To the couple's shock, Rene was diagnosed with COVID-19 and taken to the Intensive Care Unit.
Tracy says they hadn't travelled recently and the virus outbreak never crossed their minds.
"Everyone was saying you got to look for flu-like symptoms. Well, he wasn't showing flu-like symptoms," Tracy says. "He was just showing someone that was really tired and had trouble sleeping."
She says that when his breathing issues developed, "it just got worse really fast."
"They called me and said that his body was just too weak to fight," remembers Tracy. "We nearly lost him."
But Rene had other plans, describing the moment he watched as another man lost his battle in the hospital.
"I said that's not going to be me. I need to go home to my wife, to my kids. I'm ready to battle this, and with God by my side, I did."
Two weeks after being admitted to the hospital, the couple got their miracle when Rene was taken off life support.
"I was relieved, but I was like, I can't believe that we're past that stage, that we made it out," Tracy admits.
"All I know is that I walked into RVH March 20, and I walked out of RVH yesterday, and I'm doing a lot better." Rene is home now and thankful for his wife, who he calls his soulmate. "She is my rock, my everything."
The couple, who own the Creative Bean in Barrie, say they immediately received an outpouring of support from the community.
"I don't know why things happen the way they do, but we are all together in this, we are all a community, we are all Canadian, and I really believe that us pulling together will give us strength," says Tracy. "Hold on to hope."