Firefighter Marc Perez isn’t the kind of guy who gets sick – ever.
The 37-year-old enjoys being active and working out, does physical training for work and eats healthy.
“In the 12 years I’ve known him, he’s been sick maybe once with the flu, but he was better in 24 hours,” his wife, Denise, says.
So, when a little exhaustion after a 48-hour shift evolved into nausea, a temperature and eventually a cough, chills and near-debilitating shortness of breath, Denise knew something fierce was attacking Marc’s body. Over eight days, three trips to an urgent care, one trip to the emergency department at Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital in Murrells Inlet and multiple tests, the family finally learned the culprits: strep throat, pneumonia and the wallop of COVID-19.
“It was just so scary,” Denise says. “He is so healthy. He eats healthy, works out regularly. He is always super active. He is the epitome of a fit person.
“To see how sick he really got, it kind of took us both back. It was just so scary how quickly it happened — from flu symptoms to, ‘Now we’re in trouble,’ and he can’t breathe.”