Seymour woman, sister battle through COVID-19

April 1 was no joke for Louise Zeigler and her sister, Jackie Meadows.

That day, Zeigler’s test for COVID-19 came back positive, and Meadows was tested and later learned it also was positive.

Zeigler, 62, spent nearly two weeks in quarantine, and Meadows, 64, returned home from the hospital Monday and now is in self-isolation.

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“I am doing better but still tired,” said Zeigler, who lives in Seymour. “I don’t have any fever for now, but I do have a cough. I don’t think anyone knows how long it lasts. I am starting three weeks.”

On Tuesday, Zeigler said her sister was doing OK.

“I am not sure if she had it as bad as I did, which is good,” she said.

Zeigler said she started feeling sick March 20. She was coughing and found it hard to breathe.

“I called the doctor’s office and got in March 23, where they said I had bronchitis, put me on antibiotics and steroids and sent me home,” she said.

On March 28, she began feeling a lot of pressure on her chest.

“The pain in the chest was like a 10-ton truck sitting on my chest,” she said.

She went to the emergency room at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour, where they did a lot of blood work and the COVID-19 test. The latter involved putting a long Q-tip in her nose.

Zeigler was sent back home and put under quarantine. About four days later, she learned the test result was positive.

“I was almost sure I had it, just didn’t want to know it was real,” she said.

Hospital personnel were trying to be as positive with her possible, she said.

Since then, she has tried to maintain that outlook.

“Social distancing is very important, and self-quarantine when need be. Wash your hands all the time,” she said. “It’s hard, but try to stay positive. We are all in this together. Most important of all, God is carrying us through this.”

Zeigler also has her husband, Michael, at home with them. She said he is doing good so far and says he doesn’t need to be checked for the virus.

At the time of the COVID-19 diagnoses, the family already had dealt with other health issues.

On July 24, 2019, Meadows was diagnosed with Stage 3 lung cancer. Then four days later, Michael was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer that metastasized to his brain.

Since then, Louise had stayed home and helped them.

Meadows, who also has dealt with asthma all of her life, had her fourth and final chemotherapy treatment in December. Also that month, Louise had precancer cells removed following a biopsy.

Louise said doctors are now trying chemotherapy and immunotherapy together for her sister, and she will have a scan next week to see if that’s working.