EXCLUSIVE | Delaware man shares experience suffering from coronavirus

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The past week has been an incredibly difficult and painful time for a New Castle County man who WGMD can confirm has tested positive for coronavirus and fears he could die if his symptoms continue to intensify.

What first appeared to be the symptoms of perhaps a common cold progressed rapidly for Sean Kristopher, 30, of Wilmington, who just two weeks ago started experiencing chest pains, shortness of breath, body aches, and a low-grade fever.

Fearing it could be the coronavirus, he contacted his doctor who provided him with a referral to be tested. The results came back negative, providing a sigh of relief for Sean who thought that meant the symptoms he was experiencing would eventually subside, but they didn’t.

“My chest pains were so bad to the point where I couldn’t catch my breath,” Sean said. “I couldn’t breathe and the pain was terrible.”

Symptoms progressed to the point where Sean feared he could die if something wasn’t done, at which time he called his doctor who advised he go to the emergency room and called ahead to notify staff of his arrival. It was there that Sean was sent for another test which later returned positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

In an interview with WGMD’s Rob Petree, Sean Kristopher tells us the symptoms he’s experiencing from coronavirus…

“Just walking from my sofa to my kitchen, which is ten feet away from me, I get out of breath,” Sean explained. “I can’t go up and down the stairs because I get out of breath, I can’t do anything. It feels like my lungs are stone and I can’t expand them, and my chest, it’s just constant pain under my sternum and it just radiates out trying to breathe.”

Sean is encouraging everyone to stay home and self isolate as community spread continues to raise the cases across Delaware.

“I don’t know where I contracted this from,” Sean said. “It could be anywhere, people need to stay home and take this seriously.”

On top of dealing with the incapacitating symptoms from the virus, Sean is also facing financial uncertainty as he has been out of work due to the illness and he is now struggling to pay his already reduced rent and other bills. A GoFundMe page has been set up asking for financial help.

“Please, everyone, take this seriously and do not put yourselves or anyone else in harms way,” Sean stressed. “This entire ordeal has been unlike anything I have been through. Everyone needs to do everything they can to protect themselves because you don’t want to get this.”

New Castle County remains the hardest hit of all three counties across the state with cases surpassing 700 as of Wednesday evening. In total, 23 Delawareans have passed away due to complications from coronavirus, ranging in age from 57  to 94 years  old.   There are currently 201 people hospitalized across the state, 43 are critically ill.