(NEW YORK POST) – A respiratory therapist at Brooklyn’s Maimonides Medical Center got infected with the coronavirus — but was able to fight it off and eagerly returned to the front line.
Raeburn Fairweather, 47, told The Post that his fever spiked to 104 degrees during a two-week ordeal of battling the deadly disease.
“The Tylenol would not bring it down. My body felt like it was falling apart,” he told a reporter granted access inside the hospital.
“Headaches were immense. They were making my eyeballs feel like they were on springs.”
Fairweather — who said the respiratory illness temporarily robbed him of his senses of smell and taste — also described coughing up “thick, white mucus during Day Three — and that carried on until Thursday of last week.”
“If your body cannot fight, you will not make it,” he warned.
“It wears your body down.”
While Fairweather was beating the virus, the married father of five — four of whom are adults — quarantined himself in an extra room in his family’s Canarsie rowhouse, and used a bathroom that his wife and 11-year-old son avoided, he said.
Neither of them has shown any symptoms, he said.
The native of Jamaica said that in addition to Tylenol, he treated himself with traditional Caribbean home remedies made with turmeric, garlic and ginger.
Fairweather — whose job includes the hazardous task of inserting and removing ventilator tubes from the tracheas of coronavirus patients — said Wednesday that his symptoms appeared shortly after a grueling, triple shift at Maimonides on March 17.
He also admitted that while treating patients during the early days of the pandemic, with “the ones that were not suspected, we did not wear protective gear.”
“I’m going to be honest with you, the staff was still somewhat laid back about it,” he said.
Fairweather said he was tested for COVID-19 on March 18, and learned the test came back positive on Monday.
Ironically, he was allowed to return to work the same day he got the result because he hadn’t had a fever during the previous three days, he said.
Maimonides spokeswoman Eileen Tynion confirmed the hospital’s policy allowed employees who recover from the coronavirus to resume work on their fourth consecutive day without a fever.
Officials at the hospital in Borough Park said several other workers have also tested positive for the coronavirus, but declined to provide additional details.
Fairweather said he “didn’t hesitate” to resume his duties helping others, even though he had to work “17 hours non-stop” on Monday, which left him extremely tired.
“I love my job, and I was very bored at home,” he said.