WTOC’s Lyndsey Gough shares her experience battling COVID-19

ByJake Wallace|July 16, 2020 at 10:54 PM EDT - Updated July 16 at 11:30 PM

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The coronavirus pandemic has touched us here at WTOC. Reporter and Sports Anchor Lyndsey Gough has been battling the virus for several weeks and is in the hospital.

Since her diagnosis, Lyndsey has been sharing her experience on social media.

“I call this my tree of life. It’s just my IV,” said Lyndsey.

Lyndsey Gough has gotten very familiar with this hospital room over the past week. It’s not the usual setting for her.

"From Tybee Island. In Brunswick. In Beaufort…"

The WTOC Sports Anchor and Reporter tested positive for coronavirus on June 30, shortly after her 27th birthday.

“I felt really sick, probably the sickest I’d ever been for about a week.”

Her symptoms improved during her quarantine, but that upswing suddenly ended in the second week when pain in her abdomen became severe.

"It was almost unbearable. I had a hard time sitting up and laying down. I almost passed out when I took my dog out."

She went to the emergency room where doctors believed she had appendicitis.

“My surgeon said the COVID had been like a lightning strike to my abdomen.”

Gough says she was told they normally wouldn’t operate on a COVID-positive patient because of the risk, but with her, they had no choice.

“Having to call my mom and tell her that they’re taking me back for emergency surgery in an hour and I can’t have anybody here because I am COVID positive, it’s been really scary.”

Gough had her appendix and part of her colon removed late last Thursday night. She’s been recovering in the hospital ever since. She hasn’t been able to eat anything since the surgery and had a tube in her throat for several days. Because she’s still COVID-positive, Lyndsey can’t have visitors.

“Just me and my bed.”

Besides the short visits she gets from the nurses and doctors throughout the day, she’s been alone. While in recovery, Gough has been live tweeting her experience.

“As a journalist, I’ve covered COVID stories. In the spirit of transparency, let me quote, unquote, cover my own story.”

Those tweets have now gained national attention, something Lyndsey hopes helps her message land.

“What is it you hope people take from this,” WTOC’s Jake Wallace asked Lyndsey.

“You have to take this seriously, because you don’t know,” she said. “Oh it only effects old people, or oh it’s just like the flu. It’s not. Even if you don’t think the mask helps or that it’s uncomfortable, it’s a lot better than all this. I promise.”

Her doctors have told her she may not have had appendicitis. It may have just been an impact from COVID.

Despite that, Lyndsey feels like she’s starting to turn a corner. She tested positive for coronavirus a week ago and is awaiting another test, one she hopes this time will be negative.

“I can’t wait to go outside and be in my own bed.”

While she hopes others learn from her experience, Lyndsey says she's picked up some lessons about herself.

“I can take a lot more than I thought I could. And I’m definitely not going to take my health for granted.”

Photo: WTOC

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