Trey Black beat Leukemia at 2 years of age, Melanoma at 18 years of age, and COVID-19 at 29 years of age after spending 21 days in the hospital.
A Concord mother and nurse shares her family’s experience of COVID-19 after her 29-year-old son recovered from the virus after a 21-day hospital stay.
Wendy Harsch said she always took care of her son Trey Black since he was little.
“Trey had many hospitalizations in the early years of his life,” said Harsch, “and I never left his side except when I had the flu.”
Harsch said Trey survived leukemia by the age of two, melanoma by age 18 and also a rare metabolic disorder that put him at high risk of serious illness.
“I knew when COVID hit my first thought was Trey, and if Trey got it, I don’t know how bad it will be,” said Harsch. “It could be – it could kill him.”
Last June, Black drove to Buffalo, New York to see his fiancée Dawn. In early July, Dawn said she tested positive for COVID-19.
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Black said he tested positive a few days later and was hospitalized after having difficulty breathing.
“It was a roller coaster,” said Black. “One day I felt good. One day I felt bad. The next day I felt really bad.”
Harsch said she and her sister-in-law drove nine and a half hours to Buffalo to be near Trey, even though they couldn’t see him at the hospital. After three days in the Buffalo hospital, Harsch said it had been decided that Trey would have to be flown back to Charlotte to treat his metabolic disease and COVID-19.
Black’s family watched from afar in Buffalo and Charlotte as he was flown from hospital to hospital.
Black spent a few more days in the hospital in Charlotte. During one of the scariest of times, Harsch said Trey had to be put on high flow oxygen and she could sense fear inside him.
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Harsch said she stood up with him at Facetime all night to keep an eye on his stats and maintain his morale.
“I said, ‘Trey, I promise when this alarm goes off I’ll call the hospital and bring someone in to take care of you. I want you to sleep,'” said Harsch. “And we slept.” all night with the on Facetime. “
Black said he was afraid doctors would eventually plug him on a ventilator.
“I almost died. I’m not going to lie, I almost died,” Black said. “There is a point where I wanted to give up, but I didn’t. I fought against it and won.”
His fiancée Dawn Skyped was with him throughout his hospital stay and his family members sent messages to motivate him.
Harsch said that as a nurse, she knew that human touch is important in helping people get better. Since she couldn’t offer that, she tried her best to encourage him to keep fighting through COVID-19.
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“The mind heals just like medicine,” said Harsch.
After 21 days in the hospital and 10 days in the intensive care unit, Schwarz was finally allowed to go home.
“It was just a moment of relief that I finally hit that thing,” he said.
Black said he still had some lingering effects from COVID-19, including a little forgetfulness from time to time.
He now has a warning to other young people who know from experience that this virus is no joke.
“Stay socially distant and wear a mask,” Black said. “Wash your hands. It’s not that hard.”