An FDNY paramedic who publicly shared her experience after being hospitalized for COVID-19 last week is now on a ventilator after her condition worsened over the weekend, her family says.
FDNY Paramedic Christell Cadet, 34, told CNN in an interview Friday that she believed she had been exposed to the virus through coworkers who had come in contact with infected patients, as she had been on light duty and hadn’t treated any patients over the last few weeks.
Cadet, who spoke to CNN through labored breaths and coughing from her hospital bed Friday, said she first began having symptoms last Tuesday and had been hospitalized since last Wednesday. She said her asthma is normally well-controlled and she hadn’t expected she would be severely sickened by the virus.
“I did not think it was going to get me this bad,” Cadet told CNN before her condition took a turn for the worse. “My asthma is really under control otherwise.”
Cadet’s family told the New York Daily News on Tuesday that Cadet had been transferred to ICU and is sedated and breathing through a ventilator after her condition worsened over the last few days, and that they are unable to visit her due to restrictions put in place to control the spread of the coronavirus.
“She has definitely gotten worse,” said friend and fellow FDNY EMS paramedic Sherry Singleton, who last spoke with Cadet via text on Saturday.
“By Monday, Cadet was unreachable by either phone or text — and her concerned family soon learned why,” the Daily News reports. “Cadet was transferred to the ICU and sedated, her mother, Jessy Cadet, 61, told The News. The family learned the news early Tuesday.”
“Since this morning it’s really, really difficult for me. I can’t think or focus. I try to remind myself I have to remain strong even though she can’t hear me right now,” Jessy Cadet said.
The paramedic was rushed to the hospital last week after she collapsed outside her Queens home upon returning from an EMS tour. Her family found her on her hands and knees and struggling to breathe.
“It’s terrifying and we’re just hoping she makes it through to the other side,” her friend Singleton said.
“It’s a big question mark for me … 34 years old, for that virus to get on her so aggressively, it’s heartbreaking. I don’t even know how to express that or describe it,” said Jessy Cadet.
FDNY spokesman Jim Long said the department hopes “for a quick return to health for all FDNY members affected by COVID-19.”
A GoFundMe has been set up to support Cadet and has raised more than $8,000 as of this writing.
Cadet is one of 46 FDNY members who have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Monday, as reported by Commissioner Daniel Nigro.