Barrie PSW reflects on his battle with COVID-19

A former PSW at a Roberta Place in Barrie is reflecting on his battle with COVID-19 one year later.

Edwin Ng, a former PSW at the Barrie long-term care home, spent five months in hospital with COVID-19.

In late 2020, a COVID-19 outbreak tore through the long-term care home with 200 infections and claimed the lives of 71 residents.

Ng tested positive for the virus three days after receiving his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

"When I finished my shift around 10, I started feeling sick, and I had the symptoms," Edwin said. "I thought it was just because of the side effects of the shot, but it got worse, and I never looked back. I developed fevers and chills and whatnot."

Edwin said he found his health was steadily declining.

"That day when I told my wife, I went down and said 'I can't breathe anymore,'" Edwin explains.

Edwin's wife, Samantha, went to call the ambulance.

"I said to her you know if I'm going to be going now, it will be a while before I could come back," he said.

Edwin was taken to Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) and was then transported to Toronto General Hospital, where he was put into an induced coma.

Edwin credits his survival to his faith and the support of his family and friends. Still to this day, Edwin is immunocompromised.

"He's never going to be the same. It's life-changing," Samantha said. "There's always that risk of being immunosuppressed now, he can't get sick. We have to be extra careful around him. We can't bring anything home."

Edwin says he is concerned about the easing of COVID-19 restrictions that could put lives like his in danger.

"Without wearing masks, without any protection. It's too soon. It's too soon."

Edwin is taking things one day at a time.

"I'm always thinking about looking at the positive side. At least I'm with the family. It could be worse. God gave me a chance to extend my life."