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'Take hope in those empty spaces.' Woman with presumptive coronavirus gives thanks to Texans

If there is any bright side to having COVID-19, one presumptive positive patient says this: she sees how much you care.

AUSTIN, Texas — Angie Gallant is battling sickness one note at a time. She's learning how to play the mountain dulcimer.

She’s waiting for COVID-19 test results, but doctors label her “presumptive.”

"Dwelling on things suppresses your immune system," said Gallant. "So find ways to keep yourself busy and keep yourself happy. Take up a new hobby. I'm learning to play at the mountain dulcimer because we need to have that kind of release and that kind of energy."

She needed something she could do in bed because getting up is tough.

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"It's like, I go to take a breath and my lungs just say, 'No,'” said Gallant.

She saw three doctors over the last 12 days. 

The first, she said, was out of COVID-19 tests and sent her home with a Z-Pak (azithromycin) and an inhaler. Then, the pain worsened. Another trip to the doctor.

This time, she got the test but was told she may wait up to 10 days to get the results.

This is day five.

Credit: Angie Gallant

"That was really disheartening to hear,” said Gallant.

The pain didn’t stop. She said it kept building in her chest, her fever would spike randomly and a dry cough lingered.

Then, she said it became hard for her mind to process thoughts. She went to the emergency room.

"They turn me around and got me out as quickly as they could with just the instruction to use my inhaler more liberally and take more cough syrup. That's when I felt like unless I'm in full respiratory failure, there's nothing anybody can do for me," said Gallant.

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Doctors ordered her to stay home, no work. "Not until cleared," the discharge papers read. 

Her whole family is quarantined, including her 11-year-old daughter.

"She was afraid to be near me, and that's not something you ever want with your kids," said Gallant.

Gallant’s experience may be scary to hear or another warning on top of so many, but this bit of hope she wants to be heard loud and clear:

"I saw the most beautiful sentiment online, and that's what I would like to share, which is when people see these pictures of Austin that are empty, they say it looks like the end of the world. And that's not what it is when you see those pictures of Austin that are empty. What you are seeing is how much we love each other, that we don't want each other to suffer this. And so take hope in those empty spaces and know that that is an act of love for our community to try to keep everybody safe."

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