'It's like I lost three months of my life': Person County man describes life-threatening battle with COVID-19

PERSON COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Wayne Winstead, a Person County resident, details his life-threatening battle with COVID-19 in an ABC11 exclusive interview.

"I lost about a hundred pounds. I had blood clots in my leg, and my lungs had a big blood clot," Winstead said. "It's like I lost three months of my life."

Winstead is finally back home speaking after spending several weeks in the hospital at Person Memorial and UNC Health. He's thankful for the doctors and nurses by his side.

"If it won't for them I wouldn't be here today," said Winstead.

During his time in the hospital, Winstead was treated with Remdesivir, the same medication that treated President Donald Trump when he had COVID-19.

Still, the virus wrecked his body. Wayne says the only thing he could do while in the ICU was pray.
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"It's like you figure if you close your eyes, you won't wake up no more. I don't know how I caught it. It is deadly."

Tim: Was there any point where you felt you like you were going to die?

Wayne: Yes.
Tim: Describe that moment.

Wayne: It's like you figure if you close your eyes, you won't wake up no more. I don't know how I caught it. It is deadly. A lot of people walking around hollering ain't nothing to it, there ain't nothing to it. It is something to COVID.

Despite surviving the battle with COVID-19, the war continues, the 67-year-old is now on medication to regulate his heart. He can't move around without his walker and oxygen machine.

Before being diagnosed with COVID-19, Winstead's only preexisting condition was high blood pressure.

And now that vaccinations are underway for people 65 and older, Winstead says, " I will take it. They better take it. It can't do nothing but help."

Winstead is encouraging people to take the virus seriously by echoing the 3 W's reiterated during every North Carolina COVID-19 response: wash your hands, wear a mask and stand six-feet apart.

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