Green Bay man shares harrowing story of recovering from COVID-19


GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Monday, facemasks become a part of life for most people in Northeast Wisconsin.

Shawn Skenadore shares his harrowing tale of coming close to death because of COVID-19.

By speaking out now, he wants to show people why wearing a mask is important to him.

“I remember asking the doctor don’t let me die and he said I can’t promise you that and I knew right then how sick I was,” Skenadore describes the moment he understood the danger of his COVID-19 infection.

Shawn tells WFRV Local 5, “April 8th, I went into the emergency room at St. Vincent’s Hospital and they kept sending me home. I had no symptoms though. I didn’t have the cough, I didn’t run the fever. I didn’t have any of the COVID-19 symptoms. April 18th they admitted me into St. Mary’s Hospital and then roughly 3 or 4 days later, my oxygen was so low that they had to vent me. I mean it just hit me so hard.”

Shawn laid in a coma at St. Mary’s Hospital for several days and credits the staff with his recovery, especially one doctor, Dr. Manar Alshahrouri.

Dr. Alshahrouri tells WFRV Local 5, “Shawn was one of our sickest patients and it was most certainly life-threatening. He came into St. Mary’s with the full-blown picture of ARDS, which is the Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome. His lungs failed, essentially, and he acquired life support. He was on a ventilator for approximately 17 days.”

“It felt like an elephant is on my chest i couldn’t breathe. I’m gasping for air,” Shawn describes.

Just a breath away from death, Shawn received life-saving plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients.

“You collect plasma that hopefully is antibody-rich from patients who have gone through the illness and theoretically have developed some sort of immunity to it,” says Dr. Alshahrouri.”You passively transfer that immunity to someone who is currently sick.”

Shawn says no one at his job or at home was or has since been infected with COVID-19, so he can’t figure out how he was exposed.

“I don’t know how I got it. It ain’t like you can see it; ain’t like you can taste it; ain’t like I look at you and say oh, she’s got it.”

“The COVID-19 right now, unfortunately, is at a phase right now where it is in community spread; meaning that most of our patients frankly can’t tell us how they even got exposed,” Dr. Alshahrouri explains. Because most recently infected people are unsure of how the acquired COVID-19, doctors encourage wearing a mask.

“Every one of us has a personal responsibility, yes to protect themselves but also protect others. Shawn was a healthy young man. If it can happen to him it can happen to anyone,” Dr. Alshahrouri tells WFRV Local 5.

Doctors say there has not been a case yet of someone becoming reinfected with COVID-19. As for Shawn, he says he has recovered but has to attend rehabilitation.

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