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Lung transplant recipient shares coronavirus fears

A North Carolina woman recently underwent double lung-transplant surgery is concerned about the health impacts of coronavirus

Posted: Mar 31, 2020 9:46 AM
Updated: Mar 31, 2020 9:52 AM

CHICO, Calif. And DURHAM, North Carolina – Here in California, millions are entering the second week of Governor Gavin Newsom’s ‘stay at home’ directive.

People in North Carolina went under a similar mandate Monday, March 30, 2020, aS of the end of the business day.

Action News Now Morning Anchor Julia Yarbough spoke, via Skype, with one woman in North Carolina, who did not wait for those orders from the Governor. She has been under self-quarantine for weeks because her life depends on it.

“Even if someone comes to my home, I talk to them through the door. I don’t let them in.” explains Bonita Green.

Her current health status has a Butte County connection. Yarbough and Green have been close friends for more than 20 years; having both lived and worked in South Florida.

For Green, taking chances with her health is not an option right now. She is the recipient of a double lung transplant as of January 7, 2020. For the past several years, she battled a type of lung disease.

Yarbough asked Green how critical it is for her to remain healthy.

“It’s extremely critical; it is a matter of life or death for me,” says Green. “Even when I just walk outside and I’m not around people, I don’t want to inhale anything. What people don’t realize is that your lungs are the only organs in your body that are not protected from the outside world. So if you breathe something in, it can get lodged and cause and infection.”

Long before health representatives began urging all of us to ‘social distance,’ and before North Carolina’s Governor made the decision calling for people in that state to ‘stay home,’ Green was already doing so.

For her post –surgery health, she had already stocked up on hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, face masks and other personal protection equipment.

“I have been self-isolating from the beginning of March,” says Green. I only leave my home for clinic appointments or groceries and that’s it.”

Even those trips cause Green some angst. She says she is being careful, but worries that those around her who are helping her with medical appointments, could impact her health.

“I’m thinking about who can take me, where have they been, who have they been around? That’s my concern,” says Green.

Green also has a message to those who scoff at guidelines to ‘social distance.’

“This is everyone’s concern. Because although you may be young and vibrant and healthy, you could pick up a bug without knowing it and transmit it to someone who is in a high-risk category or a weak immune system,” says Green. “Everyone is a player in this game so it’s best to assume everyone has it and stay at home.”

Green adds, one of her biggest fears is not so much for herself but for seniors. She said she worries that generation of Americans are at high risk and society could lose a large portion of an entire generation due to the Coronavirus.

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We have beautiful weather around northern California right now, but it will get a lot more unsettled this weekend as a storm moves overhead. We can expect gusty wind, a big cooldown, and areas of light to moderate rain.
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