(KTXL) — A 23-year-old said he and four close friends came down with COVID-19, something he called a rough battle he would not wish on anyone.
“So, it all began on Friday the 13th. Not the luckiest day,” said Matt Newey.
Newey of Salt Lake City, Utah, was on a road trip with four friends to go skiing in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, in the middle of March.
Shortly after they came home from that trip, he said they all started feeling unusually run down.
“I felt so depressed and so unmotivated to get out of bed,” Newey told FOX40. “And I was wondering, like, what is happening? Like, am I just super tired?”
His symptoms progressed and he said his entire body ached.
“It felt like I had a full body workout,” he explained.
After ruling out the flu, Newey’s doctor was able to get him tested for COVID-19.
“I just got a call from my doctor and he said I tested positive for COVID-19,” he said in a video post.
He was able to quarantine in his parents’ basement during a grueling several-day ordeal that included fever, an aching cough and pain in his lungs.
“It got to the point where it felt like I was breathing through a straw,” Newey said. “Everything just contracted and it got tight and it burned.”
He said his friends also tested positive, although it was not easy for all their doctors to order the tests. They too quarantined at home and recovered.
“You know, because I was able to get tested so early, I was able to help contain and stop the spread from happening. Because if I wouldn’t have known, I probably would have potentially spread it to my family,” Newey said.
He said he now feels a responsibility to share his story.
“Throughout that whole experience, it really woke me up to the seriousness of this pandemic and it made me think,” he told FOX40. “You know, the curve is flattening and the only way to continue this flattening of the curve is by doing our own individual parts by making sure we’re separating ourselves and keeping a safe distance from other people.”
Now recovered, he is very grateful for the kindness of friends and neighbors.
“And I wanted to give back in any way I could and I felt like the best way to do that was by making plasma donations to people who are in critical need of it to be able to fight the virus,” he explained. “And also I also found opportunities to serve by running errands for people who are too high-risk to leave their house.”