ENID, Okla. (KFOR) – An Enid priest says he had to be rushed to the emergency room twice due to the novel coronavirus.
Father Mark Mason, 71, was celebrating his 45th anniversary of being ordained as a priest when he began to feel ill.
On June 27, Mason says he started getting chills even though it was nearly 100 degrees outside.
Initially, Mason thought he was having an allergic reaction to a hot herbal tea, but he kept feeling worse.
Even after putting on layers of clothing and huddling under heavy blankets, the chills continued.
As his condition deteriorated, a friend took him to the INTEGRIS Bass Baptist Health Center emergency room.
Immediately, Mason was tested for COVID-19 and tested positive for the virus.
He realized that he had been exposed to the virus after eating dinner with individuals who later tested positive. They were all asymptomatic at the time of the meal.
After spending a few hours at INTEGRIS, his symptoms began to improve. Since his symptoms weren’t severe, he was sent home and told to self-quarantine.
Several days later, he was recovering well at home until things took a dangerous turn. Ten days after being diagnosed with COVID-19, he began not feeling well again.
He called his doctor, who recommended that he use a pulse oximeter to measure his blood oxygen levels at home. His blood oxygen levels were falling and he was having trouble breathing.
He soon returned to the emergency room and was quickly admitted.
Mason spent 15 days at INTEGRIS recovering from COVID-19, including eight days in the intensive care unit. In the hospital, he was given Remdesivir, convalescent plasma, steroids, and anti-inflammatories.
“I was very lucky to be at this hospital when I came down with COVID-19,” declared Mason. “I feel like I received the best treatment in the world.”
Mason was released from the hospital on July 23.
However, he still has lingering effects from COVID-19 but is on the road to recovery.
“Father Mason is a great example of how quickly patients with COVID-19 can become severely ill,” said INTEGRIS pulmonologist, Sarah Matousek, M.D. “Part of the reason he did so well was because he was in good physical shape prior to his illness, but he also stayed in in touch with his physician and they closely monitored his symptoms, taking action when necessary.”
In addition to medical personnel, he says he wants to thank the community for their continued prayers.