CASS COUNTY, Mich. (WNDU)- Two people within the Cass County Michigan Sheriff's Department contracted COVID-19 this past March. Now, they're sharing their story of recovering from the virus, and talking about how they're working to help others.
"Yeah, I was scared," Captain Thomas Jacobs says. "I didn't think I was going to make it out."
The Cass County Sheriff's Department had a meeting back in March to make a plan to protect employees and inmates from COVID-19. That's actually where the virus started to spread.
"One of the subjects in our meeting who doesn't work at the sheriff's office, he had it and didn't realize it," Jacobs says.
They were making plans to stop the spread, but the virus had already made its move within the department.
"I think I was the first person in Cass County to actually test positive for it," Jacobs adds.
He may have passed it to a colleague, unknowingly.
"As he got a little sicker, we decided to send him home," Undersheriff Clinton Roach says.
"I was so bad that I had to go to the emergency room because I couldn't breath anymore," Jacobs says.
Undersheriff Roach entered quarantine due to his close contact with Captain Jacobs. Then the undersheriff developed his own symptoms and Captain Jacobs, who is diabetic and has COPD, ended up hospitalized.
"I was down, I was very miserable. The worst disease that I've ever been involved with. Body-aches, pains, flu symptoms. I had everything," Jacobs adds.
Then the undersheriff developed symptoms.
"On the 30th of March I had developed loss of taste and smell and then I began to have the breathing issues also," Roach says.
He decided to fight it from home.
"It took about two weeks to really recover from it," Roach adds. "Exhausted from it, no energy, totally wiped out and then I came back to work about the middle of April after I had tested negative for it along with Captain Jacobs."
Both men, now fully recovered, but the severity of the symptoms still fresh in their minds, now giving plasma that could have those potentially life-saving antibodies for others fighting COVID-19.
"Feels good to give back, you know, I was literally scared to death, when I was in the hospital and couldn't breathe," Jacobs says. "So I understand how important it is, if we can help somebody who's on a ventilator or is having serious health issues as I was, why wouldn't you?"
"If this will keep someone from going through what we went through, I'm glad to do that," Roach says.