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Ronnie Anderson, former head of Louisiana Farm Bureau, on what it was like to fight COVID

1 year 1 month 3 weeks ago Monday, March 22 2021 Mar 22, 2021 March 22, 2021 9:19 AM March 22, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Patients who've been through the difficult experience of fighting COVID-19 have various accounts of the symptoms and struggles they've faced.

While some say they felt as though they had a bad case of the flu, others faced extensive hospital stays marked by a series of life-threatening health complications.

Ronnie Anderson, the former head of the Louisiana Farm Bureau and member of the LSU Board of Supervisors, was one such patient who WBRZ followed last year.

Anderson spent 78 days as an in-patient at Baton Rouge General after being diagnosed with COVID-19 in March of 2020.

Now, nearly a year later, he looks back on that difficult time during an interview with WBRZ's Rae'ven Jackson.

Anderson has now retired from the Farm Bureau and he's been enjoying spending long, relaxing days on his family's farm in Ethel.

As one of the first COVID patients at Baton Rouge General, returning to a stable health condition that allows him to enjoy daily life has been a long road and it began with Anderson being rushed to the hospital in an ambulance as a COVID patient.

When asked about that moment, Anderson said, "I don't even remember getting in the ambulance to go to the hospital, and it was thirty plus days before I woke up to really realize where I was."

The virus put the then 73-year-old businessman in a coma and nearly took his life.

"I had to learn to walk again, I went into the hospital and lost 50 lbs.," Anderson explained. "So, I was in a coma in the early part of the hospital stay."

He'd never expected to get as sick as he did.

"COVID is a tough, tough disease," Anderson said.

The illness not only attacks the body, but due to the way it was treated during 2020, it often affected the psyche as well. Without available vaccinations in the early part of 2020, during treatment, close family members and friends were often unable to visit patients due to contamination fears, and as a result many novel coronavirus patients found themselves dealing with deep feelings of loneliness.

Anderson touched on this as he thoughtfully added, "I no longer fear death, I just fear being away from my family and friends and being lonely like that. I just hope that never happens again."

After a near miraculous recovery, it appears Anderson has no reason to fear a repetition of this frightening experience. He is now able to enjoy life, and he appreciates every moment of it.

"It was a great experience to be able to get home and look around and be able to see the horses, see the cows," Anderson said. 

Both Anderson and his wife have now been vaccinated and they look forward to celebrating 53 years of marriage in August. 

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