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'It's much more than the flu:' Ketchum woman shares what it's like to fight coronavirus from a hospital bed

Karen Roseberry, 74, has been in the hospital since March. She's now recovering from COVID-19.

BOISE, Idaho — What is it like to be in the hospital battling COVID-19? For the first time, KTVB is getting a glimpse from Ketchum resident Karen Roseberry, as she recovers from the coronavirus while being hospitalized. 

“I had no idea it was this serious, but it is,” Roseberry said. “I’m doing really good and I think I’m going to be one of the success stories.”

The 74-year-old has been battling COVID-19 in the hospital since mid-March. She's now recovering, but it hasn't been easy. 

“The first thing they did of course was work on, I guess you'd call it, my trachea, my whole breathing system and I’ve had a ventilator and two tracts and now I can eat solid food,” Roseberry said.

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The illness caused Roseberry to become extremely weak, and for one month she couldn't talk.

“My sister would call me and I would just listen to her and I couldn't respond,” Roseberry said.

That same sister drove her to the emergency room back in March. From there she was flown from Ketchum to St. Luke's in Boise. Then on April 17, she moved to Vibra Hospital, a long-term acute care facility in Boise, where she remains.

“I don't even remember being at St. Luke's, I don't remember being helicoptered, I don't remember going to the ER, nothing,” Roseberry said.

Roseberry got tested for the coronavirus, but not soon enough. She hopes her story will now be a lesson to others.

“I wish I would've gone immediately to be tested, but I didn't because I kept thinking it was just the flu, but it's much more than the flu,” Roseberry said. “It's almost like somebody came up and just hit you on the back of your head or neck and you lost everything.” 

Idaho COVID-19 latest:  Latest news Map of confirmed Idaho cases | Stay-at-home order details | COVID-19 resources | Testing sites | Employers hiring | Essential business list | Closings | School closings Help nonprofitsFull COVID-19 coverage

Physically, Roseberry still has to learn how to walk again, after she lost muscle because of the coronavirus. She's doing physical therapy every day. The entire ordeal not only taking a toll on her physically but mentally. She thanks her family and friends for getting her through this.

“That kept me up and thinking I could do this, but I had no idea how serious this virus really was,” Roseberry said.

She doesn't know where she got the virus from, but she says, one of her neighbors was exposed to it, however, it really could have been from anyone since Ketchum has a lot of people constantly visiting and traveling through the city. 

Roseberry will likely be at the hospital for the next month and has a long road of recovery ahead of her, but she says, once she's fully recovered, she will be hiking in the mountains. She also wants to thank the staff at the hospital for the 24/7 care and attributes her recovery to them.

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At KTVB, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. To see our full coverage and the latest COVID-19 case numbers, visit our coronavirus section here: www.ktvb.com/coronavirus 

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