A teenager who came down with severe symptoms after contracting COVID-19 is warning other young people to take the threat of the virus seriously. Seventeen-year-old Brandon Fay of Dublin, Ireland was hospitalized for six days with the potentially deadly disease.
A Harrowing Experience
“I couldn’t eat, I lost my appetite, I was finding it hard to breathe and was very short of breath,” Fay told Dublin Live. “I was extremely nervous, I felt isolated from the world as nobody could come visit me or see me.”
The teen went in for a check-up after experiencing a shortness of breath he mistook for asthma. Within minutes he was admitted to an isolation ward, where he spent three days of his stay.
Fay, who has since made a full recovery, told Dublin Live he was unsure of how he was infected with the disease. “I don’t know how I contracted it, and [I] don’t think half of the people who have it or had it will know where they got it from,” Fay said. “It’s a virus, you can’t see it.”
So far, the lethality of COVID-19 has been found to be much higher for people in their 60s and older. One case in California of a teenage death is still under investigation to determine if COVID-19 was the main cause. Still, this didn’t stop Fay from fearing the worst during his time in hospital. “I thought about death, I thought I’d die alone without anyone by my side,” he said. “But, I was one of the lucky patients, I got through it.”
A Word of Warning to Teens
Fay’s ordeal has prompted him to speak out to other teenagers who may be taking the pandemic lightly. “I thought because I’m a teenager that I’m untouchable, that I would never get the virus. I thought it would never hit my doorstep,” he recalls of his attitude before his hospitalization.
“To the teenagers out there having sleepovers, cycling in groups, going to beaches and hanging out together, ask yourselves,” Fay continued, “is it worth it? […] You may be able to fight it but the people you spread it to, like your grandparents or parents, will they?”
For young people who are itching to socialize during this time of social distancing, Fay advised embracing social media. “It’s time to use Snapchat and Facebook properly, and use them to socialize with our friends through FaceTime, WhatsApp and other apps,” he said. “Don’t go out and put your family at risk, because if I’m 17 and can contract the virus, you are vulnerable, too.”
The teenager also took time to salute the health professionals who cared for him during his sickness. “They are phenomenal, and the work they are doing is just incredible,” he said. “In my opinion, in 2021, drop the Grammy awards and the IFTA awards and every award show you can think of and award every frontline staff out there.”