Former Bulldog Travis Brown describes battle with COVID-19

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Former Bulldog linebacker Travis Brown has come a long way from his four-and-a-half week battle with COVID-19.

"It felt like my breathing was in manual instead of automatic, where it was like I had to remind myself to breathe," Brown said.

Those were his symptoms that led to an initial trip to the emergency room. Then sleep apnea set in where he would wake up out of breath 20-30 times a night-eventually giving up on sleep all together after a second trip to the ER.

"Sadly, it didn't get any better. Third ER trip there was a stint of 4 days, 5 days... honestly, it was weird because it was the fastest week because I felt like I was so delusional."

Before that third trip, doctors gave him a device to monitor his breathing.
"It's something scary when the doctor says to go to the hospital when it's under 90 and I look down and it's under 80," Brown said.

His mother Mindy shared a post on Facebook detailing an ambulance ride to Clovis Community Hospital where his symptoms would then reach its peak.

"Scary because I didn't know if I was going to be so exhausted that I would stop breathing and wake up, or I was going to be another stat of another guy who died in his sleep," he said.

He's now quarantining at his home and while he's recovered, he's thankful that he took it so seriously at the start.

"I have a brother who just had a kid. He's got two young ones. My mom is getting a little older. I just didn't want to be the guy that spread it unwillingly or unknowingly."

Now back to being healthy he's able to see the thousands of messages of support the Central Valley sent to him.

"Even to this day, I'm still catching up on some of those messages. I still have 61 unread messages."

Like everyone else, he's itching to break quarantine and get back outside and back on the golf course, but as he says, not until the time is right.

"Just keep following the stay at home orders right now. It's not worth putting yourself in a position I was in or it's not fair putting your family or someone you come in contact with after in that position. I'm 29 years old. I feel relatively healthy and it affected me in a different way...and let alone the $15,000 in hospital bills that somehow I've got to figure out a way to pay."

Brown is now preparing for the draft in the Canadian Football League where he's evaluating linebackers for the BC Lions. He also intends on donating his plasma to help others fighting the virus when the time is right.
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