Columbus woman shares experience caring for 88-year-old cousin with COVID-19

Columbus woman shares experience caring for 88-year-old cousin with COVID-19

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - As the number of COVID-19 cases rise, some families are put into a difficult situation of caring for loved ones recovering from the virus at home.

Despite the risk of getting COVID-19 herself, Judy Purnell is helping care for her 88-year-old cousin who tested positive when he went to the hospital for a stroke earlier this month. He has since been released and is at home under the care of his family.

“When I saw him, I could not walk away and not do anything,” Purnell said.

Purnell said challenges involved with caring for a loved one sick with the virus include coordinating medical care.

“When I got here, he couldn’t swallow. He couldn’t get up. But within the 30 minutes when I was here, I got him to swallow. I got him got him to get up and shower,” explained caregiver Julisa Nash.

Nash is helping take care of Purnell’s cousin.

“I know people say time is everything. Time is everything, but you only get one life. So, I try to always treat people how I want to be treated. I want to take a bath everyday. I want to eat everyday. So, if it takes me an hour to get food into him, I would do that,” Nash said.

Nash has been using some homemade remedies and a little TLC.

“At his age, you have to give him hope and you have to play the memory game. You got to let him know that hey, you’re just as important as anyone else. You’re not no less of a human than anyone else that doesn’t have it or has it,” said Nash.

As someone with a pre-existing medical condition and in her 70′s, Purnell said this challenge is very personal.

“You really have to make up your mind that you’re going to help someone and I had to remember spiritually where it says who is greater than one who would give up their life for their friend. That’s the kind of situation I’m really in right now,” Purnell said.

With the help of Nash, Purnell said her cousin has made progress on the road to recovery.

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