Santa Maria man shares experience after COVID-19 hospitalization

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Posted at 6:53 PM, Apr 01, 2020

A Santa Maria couple's life has been changed forever after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

While Louis Meza is now recovering at home, his wife Melissa is still fighting for her life in the ICU at Marian Regional Medical Center.

Meza says life was normal until he woke up with chills and a fever of 103 degrees back in early March.

He went to his doctor and says he tested positive for Influenza A.

But his symptoms continued to get worse.

"I felt really light-headed, I got up and I started coughing really hard and chunks of blood started coming up," Meza said.

It would take three trips to the emergency room before he learned his diagnosis - COVID-19.

As he stayed at the hospital, his fever continued to spike.

"They'd wake me up at three or four in the morning to tell me I was running a hot fever and put ice packs under my arms, between my legs, my stomach. A couple of times I had to get up to take cold showers to get my fever down," he said.

Meza says he was kept in isolation from his family, but hospital staff at Marian Regional Medical Center did what they could to make him feel less alone.

"Some of them would just come in and talk because you were there by yourself, lonely, and they're the only people you could talk to. So it got really depressing," Meza said.

On Saturday, when he was getting ready to be discharged, Louis received earth-shattering news from his nurse.

"The nurse came in and he said I got some news for you, your wife just got admitted and they had to intubate her right away and she's on a ventilating machine. I just broke down. I lost it," Meza said.

While Meza is now recovering at home, his wife Melissa is still in the ICU with coronavirus, fighting for her life.

Meza decided to post about his diagnosis on social media to spread awareness about the disease.

"I just wanted to put the word out there that we need the social distancing still. I felt like if people saw my story and what I'm going through and what my family is going through right now, I felt like I could make a difference," he explained.

Meza says he's getting daily updates from the hospital on his wife's condition and says once he is out of quarantine, he looks forward to going back to work at The Hitching Post.