Nov. 17 started off as a fairly standard day for 17-year-old Kelsea Legacy, but that night, when feeding the cats in her aunt’s Campbellton-area barn, she started to feel very sick.
“I was weak, I couldn’t stand up very well and I was shaky,” she says.
“That’s when I really realized I should probably go home.”
So she did, hoping to ride out whatever minor illness she’d come down with.
Only it wasn’t a minor illness at all — Legacy had contracted COVID-19.
“I was like, ‘No way, there’s no way it was positive,’ but it was,” she says.
Legacy didn’t have the tell-tale cough. She still had her senses of taste and smell, but she also had a high fever, dizziness and aches.
She took three at-home rapid tests, all of which showed a positive result, before booking a PCR test.
She has Type 1 diabetes, which the CDC notes can make one more vulnerable to serious illness under COVID-19.
Within days of testing positive, Legacy was in intensive care on a ventilator.
“The nurse helped me video call my mom and I was crying,” she says.
“I honestly thought I was dying.”
Having been sedated for intubation, Legacy says there are full days throughout the past three weeks she can’t recall.
“I remember waking up but I didn’t know time had passed,” she says.
“I remember checking my phone and I had all these messages and it was five days later.”
When speaking with Global News about her hospital stays in both Campbellton and Bathurst, Legacy had nothing but positive things to say about the medical staff who attended to her.
“I wouldn’t have been able to get through it without their kindness,” the teen says.
She also credits prayer and the support of her family with helping her through her fight.
A fight, she says, was as tough on her mind as it was body.
“It’s almost like I was grieving myself,” says Legacy.
“In a way, a part of me did kind of die. I’m totally new.”
Legacy isn’t sure where she contracted the virus.
She’s not vaccinated and is worried how side effects might hit her due to her diabetes.
Diabetes Canada recommends those with both Type 1 and Type 2 get the shot.
Legacy says she’s now going to as soon as possible — and is encouraging others to take the virus seriously.
“It isn’t just something that happens to Joe Blow somewhere. It happens to people that are your neighbours and your family.”
Now home and on the mend, Legacy says she looks forward to putting this chapter behind her — though she says she’s forever changed.
“I never thought it would happen to me, and that’s the thing. You don’t,” says Legacy.
“It’s definitely shown me a newfound strength within myself, that’s for certain.”