When Shelly Biscoe was training staff at Soldiers' Memorial Hospital on how to deal with COVID-19, she never imagined she would become infected and go through the fight of her life.
"I was very safe. I washed my hands. I wore my mask, stayed six feet apart and only went shopping when I had to, and I still got COVID," Biscoe said.
The Orillia nurse said she caught the virus from a family member who tested positive the same day Biscoe started developing symptoms.
"I was watching a ZOOM meeting, and I couldn't follow," she said. "I couldn't follow what was happening. Then I spent four days at home fighting a fever in the 40s."
Biscoe said her spouse, Vince, had tested positive as well, so she started to prepare for the worst.
"So, not only did I have to make a will and make him my executor, but then I had to make provisions in case he ended up in the hospital, too," she said.
Biscoe monitored her vital signs at home, but after a few days, Vince took her to the hospital. "I wasn't sure that wasn't going to be the last I would see him. And that was sad," she admitted.
The nurse said despite having no underlying medical issues, the virus nearly claimed her life.
"The anesthetist came up to me and said, 'This is it. You are going to die if you do not get intubated,'" she recalled.
Biscoe spent three weeks in the intensive care unit.
Her daughter Sarah Waltman, who became a nurse to follow in her mother's footsteps, said her first day on the job was when her mom was admitted to the ICU.
"My mom is my best friend," Waltman said. "So, on my first day, all I wanted was to get home and all her. That was the day they let me see her through the glass, and that was hard."
Biscoe said she started to turn a corner on the day her kidneys began failing.
"They contacted a kidney specialist, and they gave me some fluids, and I turned the corner that day, and my fevers went down," she said.
But her fight was far from over.
Once off the ventilator, it took her days to figure out how to walk and eat again. When she left the hospital for home, things were very different.
"I had to use a walker, and I was thinking, is this going to be it for me, but every day I got better," Biscoe said.
She admitted she still has lingering symptoms of COVID-19.
"I have a lot of brain fog. I used to be able to switch from one thing to another and move at a face pace, but now I have to do things a little slower."