Phelps Health nurse shares her personal experience with COVID-19

Tiffany Henry, RN, is the nurse coordinator for the Phelps Health Comprehensive Breast Center.

Within a short amount of time, Henry experienced some of the most joyful news of her life and some of the most devastating.

In August 2020, Henry and her husband took a short trip to Arkansas. “It was our 10th anniversary, and we were staying by ourselves in a cabin [to be] safe,” she said. While there, Henry started feeling ill. “So we decided to stay inside that day, and then the next morning, my husband also started feeling ill,” she said. 

The couple decided to pack and return home. Once home, they were tested for COVID-19, and both tests came back positive.

Henry and her husband experienced different symptoms. “I had a lot of gastrointestinal symptoms, like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea,” she said. “I [also] had low-grade fever and a complete loss of taste and smell. My husband experienced low-grade fever and respiratory-type symptoms.”

These symptoms lasted for several days. “I was pretty sick, and I didn’t start feeling better until about eight days after diagnosis. My husband and I were able to recover at home, but I did call to get advice from my obstetrician [Phelps Health OB/GYN Beena Green, MD], because shortly before I got COVID-19, I found out I was six weeks pregnant.”

Henry, her husband, her parents and grandmother all contracted COVID-19 following a small gathering to celebrate her husband’s birthday. “There were very few of us there, I think six people total, and none of us were sick,” she said. “As it turned out, though, a family member was sick, and the rest of us all contracted COVID-19.”

Henry’s parents recovered. Her grandmother did not. “She wasn’t in the best of health, and unfortunately, she didn’t make it,” Henry said.

Henry says taking COVID-19 seriously is important. “You may be healthy and able to get through COVID-19 without many issues,” she said. “But, there are individuals like my grandmother, my sister with Type 1 diabetes or my father-in-law who has had open heart surgery, who may not do well if they have COVID-19.”

The COVID-19 vaccine is a step in the right direction, according to Henry. “I plan on getting the COVID-19 vaccine,” she said. “I would have loved for my grandmother to have had the opportunity to be vaccinated, because she would probably still be here.”

Henry said she also discussed getting the COVID-19 vaccine with Dr. Green and feels it is safe to receive during pregnancy. “I feel comfortable getting vaccinated. I feel like it is a very small thing that I can do to reduce the spread,” Henry said.