Rockford man diagnosed with coronavirus: ‘It’s a feeling like you’ve never felt before’

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Ted O’Donnell became Winnebago County’s 12 confirmed positive case of COVID-19, and now he’s sharing his experience with the disease and warning others to stay home and stop the spread.

“It’s a feeling like you’ve never had before,” O’Donnell said via Skype Monday morning. “I don’t wish this on my worst enemy.”

His children have been communicating with him by sliding drawings under his bedroom door.

O’Donnell said it was 11 days before he could put a name to his symptoms, which included high fever and misery.

“It felt like every bone in my body was breaking and my muscles were contracting in the worst way,” he said.

O’Donnell remains at home, checking in with his doctor every day, hoping to go 72 hours without a fever so he can go back to living a normal life.

“Social distancing is the key here,” he said. “I can’t live with myself if I infect someone. I would rather businesses be closed 30 days than close a casket on someone.”

O’Donnell says the isolation has been hard. He’s an active volunteer, and one of the people involved in Rockford’s 4th of July fireworks show, as co-chairman of the Holiday Civic Committee.

He’s also in the local band Dirty Fishnet Stockings.

“My doctor and his staff are so great, we’re coming up with a plan for me,” he said.


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