Former DeFuniak Springs resident speaks out about experience with COVID-19 [PREMIUM]

JAMIE TODD FORMAN (r) outside of clinic.

Story by STACY MARTIN

Jamie Todd Forman, grew up in DeFuniak Springs, was diagnosed with COVID-19; he recently spoke with the DeFuniak Springs Herald – Beach Breeze  about his experience and the severity of the virus.  

Forman is a graduate from Walton County High School and studied law at Florida State University.  He now lives in Palm Beach County, where he opened up his own business practicing restaurant law, just as the COVID-19 virus was making its way through the states.  

Forman recalls his experience starting with a slight – though fleeting – fever. Then on March 24, the deep, non-stop coughing began. 

“This virus does one thing and one thing only, and the only thing it does is attack the respiratory system. As I was taking a breath in, I would suck the stuff back in. It felt like I was drowning.”  

From there, it took 10 days for Forman to get tested through the county. Palm Beach County set up COVID-19 testing sites at the FITTEAM Ball Park, run by the National Guard. Testing was by appointment only, for those with symptoms; however availabilities were full. 

Forman went to a walk-in health clinic, where signs on the door instructed visitors to wait outside and call for assistance if they had symptoms of the virus.  After testing Forman had to wait an additional five days for the results; in the meantime, his symptoms got so severe that he had to admit himself into the JFK Medical Center.

According to Forman, the hospital gave him a field diagnosis of positive for the Coronavirus, which is the protocol for those with symptoms who test negative for all other possibilities. “The hospital doesn’t test you; instead, they rule everything out first.” Forman was released from the hospital and placed into isolation. “It was a very lonely experience where you couldn’t get out, and you were quarantined for three weeks.”  

Forman is currently in recovery, no longer contagious, and has been released to return to work; however, the cough still lingers. Forman described a recent dilemma with trying to get his A/C unit repaired. The process sent him through a list of questions and delayed with the repair once he informed the company he is in recovery from the virus.   

While understanding that no one wants to get sick, it could be some time before the public feels safe and anxiety-free concerning the virus. The public is still receiving new information almost daily. Forman commented that we are in an age of “super viruses,” these novel strains of respiratory-based flu viruses.  

“Now is the time to take your health seriously, your health matters here, with this virus, that’s what the nurses were telling me. You’re either going to beat it or you are not. That was my big take-away from it.”