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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Cottage Grove family is opening up about its battle with COVID-19.

Bryan McKenzie tested positive for the virus on Tuesday and is still in the hospital.

His wife, Amber McKenzie, spoke with WCCO about his surprising symptom progression, the challenges to get tested, and where they think he got it from.

“The virus is running our world right now,” Amber said.

Bryan tested positive for the virus 11 days after his first symptoms. The first day, it was just a fever.

“The second day he had a lot of stomach cramping, and by the third day he had severe diarrhea,” Amber said. “No cough, no sore throat, no respiratory symptoms whatsoever.”

After six days of managing symptoms at home, Amber took Bryan to the doctor.

“They said that because he didn’t have any respiratory symptoms and that he wasn’t in a high-risk category, they weren’t testing,” Amber said. “The lowest point was feeling not taken seriously.”

The McKenzies returned home without answers, then things got worse. Eleven days in, Bryan’s temperature was uncontrollable, and respiratory symptoms popped up.

READ MORE: The Push To Complete Healthcare Directives Amid The Pandemic

“He felt like he couldn’t get a full breath, so we went to the ER for the second time,” she said.

This time, Bryan was able to get tested. Not only did he have COVID-19, but also pneumonia.

“We FaceTime twice a day usually,” she said. “It’s really hard not to be able to see him.”

The McKenzies think Bryan got it from a nurse he sat near while out to lunch with coworkers weeks ago. Amber has friends who know the nurse personally.

“She tested positive,” Amber said. “There was another person whose family member came and joined the lunch, and that person has also developed symptoms.”

But right now, their main focus is on waiting for Bryan to heal.

“I can’t wait until he’s home with us again,” she said.

Amber says she and her two daughters do not have symptoms. They say they quarantined Bryan immediately after his symptoms started, and disinfected their home often.

Bryan is still on oxygen at the hospital, and does not feel any better, but nurses say he’s making positive progress.

Amber shared more of their journey on her Facebook page.

Erin Hassanzadeh

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