Local Family Fights to Overcome COVID-19
Originally publish in the Rocky Mount Telegram
A local family of three recently overcame a difficult battle with COVID-19 after fighting the virus at the same time.
CJ Taybron, the son of Carl and Alastene Taybron, was the first in the family to come down with the virus.
“He got a call from his job that someone he was working around had it, so he went and got tested that Saturday and they called back that Monday and said that he was positive,” Alastene Taybron said. “At the time, he was having bad headaches and he started having chills and coughing and started getting shortness of breath, so Thursday I took him to the hospital and he was admitted. They put him on the ventilator that next morning.”
Both Carl and Alastene went to get tested after CJ was admitted to Nash UNC Health Care and both came back negative. However, it was just a few days later that Carl started having symptoms.
“My husband started coughing and saying he didn’t really feel good. On Sunday, around 11 o’clock that night, we carried him down to the hospital and he tested positive and was put on the ventilator,” Alastene Taybron said.
Alastene Taybron explained how she felt having both her husband and son in the hospital with COVID-19.
“I was a nervous wreck. Both of them were on the ventilator at the same time. CJ was getting better, but my husband didn’t have a lot of changes going on with him,” she said.
At that time, Alastene Taybron began having symptoms of her own.
“I didn’t really have time to think about how sick I was because I was thinking about them,” she said. “I got tested again and it came back positive.”
CJ Taybron was discharged from the hospital the same day his mom started feeling sick. After hearing his mom’s breathing that Monday, he decided to call the ambulance. Alastene Taybron was later admitted to the hospital.
Reflecting on his own experience in the hospital, CJ Taybron said that he couldn’t remember much.
“I remember Megan, one of the nurses, because she was on it. If I needed anything she was always there and willing to get it. I don’t remember everybody’s name, but there was this one nurse who helped me with my food. I wasn’t really eating anything, so she got everything switched for me and she was the one who made sure that I actually got up and moved around when I wasn’t doing physical therapy,” he said.
When Alastene Taybron reflected on her time in the hospital, she recalled her struggles with the virus.
“Yes, it was rough. I did not go on the ventilator. They did everything they could to keep me from going on the ventilator,” she said.
Alastene Taybron recalled the different nurses who stood out to her during her care, although she couldn’t remember their names.
“Everybody was in masks and it was hard to know what they looked like. CJ and I had the same nurse. She was really helpful as far as getting me back up and going. She came in the mornings and would say ‘OK, our goal today is to do this’ and she made sure we did that goal,” she said.
Upon her discharge, Alastene Taybron remembered feeling excited.
“I was expecting to stay longer than I did, so I was very excited that I got over it as quick as I did — especially after my husband and CJ had stayed in for so long,” she said.
After staying on the ventilator the longest out of the family, Carl Taybron had lots of challenges during his treatment. Like CJ Taybron, he didn’t remember anything while being on the ventilator.
“He had a feeding tube, a trach, oxygen ... so he had a rough time,” Alastene Taybron said. “When they got him off the ventilator, that’s when I started to see a little progress with him.”
Carl Taybron said that he is much better.
“I have good days and I have bad days. From where I came from, I’m doing really good now,” he said.
Since all three have been back home, they have been continuing their recovery and receiving additional care.
“My dad is still going through therapy, so we try to be his nurses when his nurses aren’t here,” CJ Taybron said.
Each of them have said they have been able to do things now that they couldn’t do when they first came home from the hospital.
“For my mom, she was able to get out and do her yard work. For me, I had been walking,” CJ Taybron said. “When I first got discharged, I was using a walker and it was a struggle because I would get out of breath or get tired when I tried to do that, but it got better and I was able to go out and do something I know I couldn’t do before. For dad, he can walk a little bit without the walker now so that’s good.”
Since winning their battle with COVID-19, the Taybron family said they have great appreciation for what the health care workers at Nash UNC did for them.
“We greatly appreciate them for risking their lives and their time just looking out for us and making sure we were taken care of,” Alastene Taybron said.