Surviving Coronavirus: One man’s journey from the ICU to overcoming the virus

Chip Burger spoke with Channel 2 anchor Jorge Estevez about his sickness and now recovery from the virus that continues to spread throughout the world.

MILTON, Ga. — Three weeks after first noticing the symptoms of coronavirus, a Milton man is back home after testing positive for the virus.

Chip Burger spoke with Channel 2 anchor Jorge Estevez about his sickness and now recovery from the virus that continues to spread throughout the world.

Burger told Estevez that is almost back to normal.

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“I’m doing very well. My symptoms have gone away and I’m in probably about 90% stamina zone. So, I’m feeling pretty good,” Burger said.

But that wasn’t the case a little over a week ago.

“At the worst, it was Sunday the 22nd and I was totally fatigued. I had some really kind of crazy symptoms. I had loss of appetite, a cough and then my sense of taste had changed to where everything ate tasted kind of contaminated, like sawdust,” Burger said.

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Burger said he was planning on going on a diving trip in February but started feeling the symptoms about three weeks before he was supposed to leave.

“At this point you don’t know how you contracted coronavirus?” Estevez asked Burger.

“Correct, and that’s sort of the scary part. I’m in my late 50s. I’m very physically active. I have no preexisting conditions or issues. So, it just sort of came out of nowhere,” Burger said.

Burger said every day he wrote down how he was feeling and created a list of lessons he learned while sick with the virus.

He said don’t overdo it. Also, if you have a cough, fever, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, loss of sense of smell, or potential symptoms notify your doctor.

Burger said it took him a few days before he followed his own advice and not overdo it.

“I never did. That’s one of the things, I just thought I could tough it out and just get over it by resting and taking over the counter medications. I wish I’d called earlier to figure out what was going on,” Burger said.

That’s when he was taken to WellStar North Fulton where he ended up in intensive care.

“I was there nine days. So, six days in the ICU and three days in a regular medical room,” Burger said. “They put me on oxygen right away, but the ER doctor really got my attention when he said if the oxygen doesn’t work, we’re going to intubate you and put you on a respirator. Man, you talk about motivation. So, I really started focusing on breathing that oxygen. They had it flowing at a very high rate. Fortunately, that really did the trick and started my recovery.”

Burger said he’ll never forget walking out of intensive care after getting well enough to be admitted to a regular room.

“As I was walking out, I had nurse Katie there and an assistant with a wheelchair just in case I couldn’t make it. But she had asked me if I wanted to walk and I said I would love to stretch my legs. One of the key ICU doctors said I was the first patient to walk out of the ICU and that really, what we have here is a win and to acknowledge it and celebrate it, and that walk from the medical room to the ICU, which is not far just down the hall and up the elevator, was one of the best of my life,” Burger said.

Burger told Estevez that he now wants to work with the medical community to help others who have been infected with coronavirus.

Read the 10 lessons he learned during his fight in his post below.

I was released from WellStar North Fulton Hospital on Monday, 3/30 after nine days fighting viral covid-19 pneumonia -...

Posted by Chip Burger on Tuesday, March 31, 2020
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