Detroit firefighter works to regain health after contracting COVID

DETROIT – Firefighting is dangerous work, but it wasn’t a fire that sidelined a Detroit firefighter for the past seven months. It was COVID.

Jabari Dew, 47, shares his battle to get back to work and the lessons he learned about the coronavirus along the way.

Dew is not afraid of hard work. He was in the military and an accountant before becoming a firefighter in Detroit.

“As a health fanatic the last thing I thought would happen is if I had (COVID) you know it would have such a lasting effect on me. Especially not the way he did it, ”Dew said.

Dew developed a cough in March.

“I thought it was just regular cold symptoms. I remember we had a call in the middle of the night and one of my, I coughed, and one of my coworkers looked at me – and I said, ‘Hey. It’s just a cold, ”he said.

It wasn’t a cold.

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“I went on March 30 that morning and tested positive and found myself and my 5 year old daughter at the time to be positive,” he said.

His daughter was asymptomatic, but he quickly developed chills, headaches, body aches and difficulty breathing.

“I didn’t really sleep because I was scared, you know, of falling asleep and of my lungs – you could hear them not being as healthy as they should be,” he said. declared.

After two weeks, the symptoms were gone, but Dew’s fight was only just beginning. He was tested and his blood oxygen levels were far too low, a lingering consequence of COVID.

He has spent the last seven months working to regain his strength. At Michigan’s DMC Rehabilitation Institute, he does intense physiotherapy sessions three days a week, four hours at a time.

Morris Reed is his trainer. They focus on the skills Dew needs as a firefighter and fight the damage caused by COVID.

Dew was not vaccinated when he caught COVID. He said if he could have gone back in time he would have been vaccinated. He sees the risk of the virus differently now.

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Dew has not yet been cleared to return to his job as a firefighter. He hopes to return to work in early December.

Read: More coronavirus coverage

Copyright 2021 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit – All rights reserved.

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