A 37-year-old non-binary person who passed away from coronavirus this week kept a heartbreaking online journal of their experience.
PJ McClelland from Florida, who died on April 11, had gained hundreds of followers as they shared their experience of having COVID-19 through daily Facebook posts.
They were originally screened for coronavirus on March 23 and sent to be tested the next day. A few days later they found out they had a positive test result. They had no underlying health conditions other than a recent diagnosis of sleep apnea.
Their update that day read: “I’m getting sicker by the day. It feels like I have a migraine, bronchitis, and the flu all at once… Don’t worry about me. I’m relatively young and healthy.
“Worry about the people I’ve been around who are EXTREMELY high risk. It breaks my heart to think I may have given this to them.”
PJ McClelland was sent home after being rushed to hospital.
They later began to develop severe chest pain and were taken to hospital by ambulance, then admitted in isolation.
McClelland wrote: “I was their first confirmed case, and I am REALLY f**king worried. NO ONE had proper PPE. They had zero N95 masks.”
However, after their oxygen levels increased to 94 per cent, they were sent home with an inhaler.
By day 10, their symptoms were still worsening, and they wrote: “I’m only sharing this because I think people need to know that not everyone has ‘minor cold symptoms for a few days’.
This is, by far, the sickest I’ve ever been. I’m writing this through tears.
On day 16, McClelland’s symptoms took an even scarier turn. They wrote: “For the last three days I’ve been coughing ridiculously often… but s**t got REAL early this morning.
“For what seemed like an eternity, but was actually a couple of hours, I coughed non-stop. Literally. I couldn’t breathe. Like barely at all. Just a gasp between coughing here and there. I was having a panic attack the entire time.
“My hands were tingling and I lost my peripheral vision. I know you’re wondering why the f**k I didn’t call 911. Idk if it was the lack of oxygen, the fever, exhaustion, or something else, but I was extremely confused/ disoriented.
“I can’t quite articulate how absolutely terrifying this ordeal was. I just wanted to breathe, and I couldn’t. It was, without a doubt, the scariest thing that has ever happened to me.”
Non-binary COVID-19 victim shared final update two days before their death.
On April 9, in what would be their final update, they said: “I can safely say this has been the longest, and some of the worst, three weeks of my life… I know I’ve said this, but it bears repeating: I’m one of the lucky ones. I’m NOT saying I’m out of the woods yet.
“I’ve seen far too many cases of people who were on the mend in the morning and died that night.”
They said they would be getting more blood tests and another chest x-ray that day, and promised to update later.
But the update never came, and McClelland passed away from coronavirus at home two days later.
Their close friend Tim Ross told Fox News: “As a close friend for many years, it was difficult to read. But I feel it was important.
“Everybody who met PJ became a friend, and it’s been evident in the outpouring of support since their passing.
“Please stay home. That’s all PJ wanted.”