'I couldn't get air, I couldn't breathe': Crystal woman describes battle with COVID-19

This woman from Crystal shares her story about her battle with COVID-19 this year.

There are currently 1,828 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Minnesota, according to state health officials, with 379 of them in the intensive care unit. 

A Crystal, Minnesota woman found herself as one of those statistics last week, hospitalized with a serious case of COVID-19 that left her struggling to breathe

“I couldn’t get air. I couldn’t breathe,” Angie Wesp said. 

Wesp said she had never been so sick or scared as she laid in bed inside Maple Grove Hospital last week, not knowing if she’d survive.

“I really had no idea,” she said. “All the horror stories you hear about intubating, I thought, ‘This is it. I’m not coming out of here.’ That’s how sick I felt. I really, truly did. I was really scared.”

Wesp, a healthy and active 54-year-old who ran a marathon just a few years ago, reported having a fever in excess of 101 degrees for more than a week, excruciating body aches and dangerously low oxygen levels.

Forget 26.2 miles—at the worst of her COVID-19 symptoms, she struggled to walk a few steps to the bathroom. 

“I’ve never had asthma, never had lung problems, breathing problems, ever,” Wesp said. 

Doctors in Maple Grove treated her with a combination of oxygen, steroids and the antiviral drug remdesivir as well as convalescent plasma. Within days, she was feeling better and was sent home to recover last Friday. 

But, the disease had already stolen precious moments with her son, who as active duty Navy was home on leave for just a short break before Thanksgiving.

“I miss him so much,” Wesp said. “My time was spent ill. And it was really hard for him too. He had a really hard time watching mom that sick.”

As of Tuesday, Wesp is still coughing, not sure about the lasting impacts of the virus and wanting her story to make a difference as others plan to gather with their loved ones for the holidays.

“For me, somebody who is healthy and living a normal life, if I can get this sick, it is very serious,” she said. “And, I just really wish people would take note of that and really take it to the seriousness it deserves because it’s a scary thing.”