Local 27-year-old recovering from COVID-19 encourages healthy young people to take virus seriously

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A 27-year-old Jacksonville Beach man is still recovering after he tested positive for COVID-19 at the beginning of the month.

Evan Kay remembers a few days after the big July 4 celebration is when he started to feel under the weather.

He spent six days in the hospital on oxygen trying to regain his strength. His body ached and he was tired.

“I got COVID-19 on the 7th. I quarantined myself for two weeks in a hotel and just tried to stay away,” Kay said.

But his symptoms only got worse.

“About two weeks into that, I stood up and I couldn’t breathe,” he said.

The healthy 27-year-old was admitted to Baptist Medical Center Beaches ER shortly after.

He was placed on oxygen and given IVs.

“I’m talking to the nurses, and I hear two people passed away, you know, while in was in there, and I know for me I watched a funeral on Facebook Live of one of my friends that passed away from COVID,” Kay told Action News Jax while holding back tears.

He said friends and family prayed for his recovery while he was in the hospital and the nurses worked around the clock.

“I have a new respect for the medical professionals that have been coming in and out constantly taking care of me,” Kay said.

His body is still very weak, and he’ll need to see a cardiologist as part of his recovery.

“Standing here, you can’t see my legs are shaking right now, my lungs are very inflamed, my heart is inflamed, so I have to come back and get more tests,” he said.

Kay is encouraging other young and healthy people to take COVID-19 more seriously.

He left Baptist Medical Center Beaches on Friday and for him, this whole experience has been eye opening.

“I know that I’m going to take it a little more seriously about social distancing, washing my hands,” he said.