Coventry woman, 27, in ICU after contracting COVID; mom urging young adults to take it seriously

West Bay

COVENTRY, R.I. (WPRI) — A 27-year-old Coventry woman is now fighting for her life after recently contracting COVID-19.

Jenifer Cross tells 12 News her daughter, Nicole Sheldon, is currently on a ventilator in the ICU at Kent Hospital, nearly one week after she tested positive.

Cross said her daughter got tested after her roommate tested positive for the virus.

Jenifer Cross (right) and her daughter, Nicole Sheldon (left).
(Courtesy: Jenifer Cross)

“When she got her test results on the 12th she had no symptoms at all,” Cross said.

Cross said her daughter was already at-risk of experiencing severe symptoms because she has Type 1 Diabetes. She said Sheldon went from being asymptomatic to experiencing flu-like symptoms quickly.

“By Saturday she was texting me, ‘I really don’t feel good, I feel like I got hit by a truck,'” she said. “Monday she sends me a selfie, her skin is all ashy her lips are purple-ish, and I work in the field and told her ‘You need to get to the hospital right away.'”

Once hospitalized, Sheldon’s symptoms only got worse. Cross said her daughter developed pneumonia and had to be put on a ventilator to breathe.

“She’s still on a ventilator,” Cross said. “They flip her from her back to her stomach, she’s on her stomach for 16 hours, her back for eight hours a day.”

“Her lungs are very damaged, [the doctor] used the words ‘severe case of COVID pneumonia’ and because she is a diabetic, her blood sugars are all over the place,” she continued.

Cross said she hasn’t seen her daughter since she was admitted to the hospital.

She’s hoping by sharing her daughter’s story, more young adults will realize that there’s always a chance the virus will impact them severely.

“I understand young people want to hang out and things like that, but I can’t stress it enough, take precautions, wear your mask, use sanitizers, it’s serious,” she said.

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