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'I pray nobody has to go through what I went through:' SC sheriff fights against COVID-19

Sheriff Foster was in the hospital for two weeks after getting COVID-19. He is now recovering at home and remains on oxygen.

NEWBERRY, S.C. — Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster is still on the road to recovery after spending more than two weeks in the hospital fighting COVID-19.

“I pray that nobody has to go through what I went through, I pray nobody was sitting there praying, Lord, give me air, give me air,” Foster said.

Sheriff Foster never imagined the beginning of 2021 would start with him fighting for his life against the coronavirus.

“It just happened overnight," Foster said.

According to the sheriff, his symptoms started on New Year’s Eve. He had body aches and a fever.

“Flu like aches, pains and I only had a fever for two days and it was very low grade, so I was ready to come back to work off my quarantine on my 10th day,” Foster said.

But the next morning, his symptoms took a serious, unexpected turn.

“I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t talk, and I couldn’t breathe," Foster said.

RELATED: Newberry Sheriff Lee Foster tests positive for COVID-19

Foster’s doctor told him to get to the emergency room immediately, and he was in the hospital for more than two weeks.  

“It was really bad then when the doctor was saying the things we need to do or might have to do, and you know he started talking about survivability,” Foster said. “That’ll bring you home.”

Weeks later, Foster is still recovering in his own him. He is on oxygen, and has follow up visits with his doctor.

He hopes sharing his story will impact everyone who hears it.

“I’m here to tell you it’s real and it’s dangerous,” Foster said. “I don’t wish this on anybody and do what you can to protect yourself and protect your family.”

Foster said he is thankful for the medical staff who took care of him and everyone who sent well wishes to him and his family.

As far as Foster’s duty as sheriff, he said his staff has done a great job and he is in touch with them every day, either by phone or Zoom. He also said that the job is getting done.

RELATED: How to register for the COVID-19 vaccine in South Carolina