IBERVILLE PARISH, La. (WAFB) - Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi tells WAFB’s Scottie Hunter he has been released from a local hospital after being treated for COVID-19.
The sheriff says he’s lucky to be here because not everyone has such a fortunate outcome against the illness.
“Some people have lost the sense of smell and taste, some people are hospitalized like myself, and other people leave in body bags, so this is not nothing to play with,” the sheriff said.
He admits those six days he spent inside the COVID-19 unit at Baton Rouge General Bluebonnet were some of the toughest of his life. As the head of law enforcement in Iberville Parish, many folks usually count on him to keep them safe, but he says he felt powerless to protect himself against the virus.
“I wasn’t getting any better. My oxygen level was dropping and I was breathing hard,” said Stassi. “I tell you what, I didn’t realize I would be as scared as I was.”
The sheriff says the worst part of the fight was the isolation and fear of the unknown. He says if his experience will convince even one person to follow the guidelines from state and health officials, it will be worth it.
“People just don’t realize how serious this is,” he added. “With this virus, you can’t tell how it’s going to affect the person who gets it, so that’s the problem. What the governor tells us to do, we should do.”
While he’s back at home now and feeling a lot better, Sheriff Stassi says his journey with COVID-19 is not over. He’s still under strict orders to fully drive everything out of his system.
“I’m working my lungs and making sure I’m working the air machine to get them clear,” said Stassi. “They want me to rest up and want me to stay home another week.”
The sheriff says he’s grateful for the hospital staff who took care of him and says he’s just thankful he was able to pull through.
“It really makes you appreciate what you got,” he added.
The sheriff was released around 11:30 a.m. Monday, Aug. 3 after being in the hospital since Wednesday, July 29.
Stassi says his first COVID-19 test came back negative.
“About two hours later, after they did it the first time, they wanted to do it again and send it to another lab,” Stassi said.
He says the second test came back positive a few hours later. The sheriff says he was admitted to the hospital Wednesday morning, but started having symptoms three days prior on Sunday.
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