GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - One Gulf Coast dentist thought the worse when he was diagnosed with COVID-19, but he survived and now he’s ready to tell his story.
Dr. Roy Irons was diagnosed with COVID-19 in December, but by looking at him now, you wouldn’t be able to tell that just a few months ago, he was knocking on death’s door after contracting the virus.
“I thought maybe I was going to quote die,” said Irons.
Dr. Irons started experiencing symptoms in December. He said he developed chills, cough, loss of taste and smell.
When he got tested, it turned out things were much worse than he thought.
“She checked my heart, and she said I’m hearing something strange going on with your heart right now,” said Irons. “I think you need to go to Memorial right now.”
Dr. Irons spent a week in the hospital at Memorial, and as someone with underlying health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure, he feared the worst.
“My chest was killing me, my system was shutting down,” said Irons. “If this is what it is, let’s let it happen.”
Fortunately, Dr. Irons recovered, and though he still has some lingering symptoms, he’s doing much better than he was in December.
“So my long-term effects, we don’t know of what it’s going to do to me, but I don’t cough as much as I used to, right after I got out of the hospital, I was coughing quite frequently. And my voice has come back,” said Irons.
The experience of having COVID-19 has changed Dr. Irons’ outlook on life, and he now plans on making some big changes.
“I decided that now that I have survived that, just going public, I’m going to sell my home,” said Irons. “And I’m going to live in a smaller facility.”
One change he’s already made is getting vaccinated and he encourages everyone to get the shot to avoid experiencing what he went through.
“I don’t wish that experience I had on anyone,” said Irons. “Not a soul.”
For more stories of survival and reflection, watch “Mississippi Tested: The COVID Fight Now and in the Future” Thursday, March 11 at 6:30 p.m. on WLOX CBS.