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Local nurse Tammy Edwards with an update on her husband Brian

Tammy Edwards and her husband Brian. (Photo courtesy of Tammy Edwards)

It has been nearly two weeks since Gee and Ursula first talked to Tammy Edwards. She is a nurse who got COVID-19 at work, and while she’s been recovering at home, her husband, Brian, has been fighting the virus at Tacoma General Hospital since April 19.

On April 29, Tammy said Brian was improving, in part thanks to the help of remdesivir.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said remdesivir, an experimental drug originally used to fight Ebola, will likely become the standard of care for COVID-19 patients. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is working with the manufacturer to green-light the drug for widespread use.

This week, Brian is doing even better.

“Today is a better day,” Tammy said. “He actually tested negative for COVID two times now, so he was able to come out of isolation.”

Soon, Brian will be moved to MultiCare Hospital for inpatient rehab, where he’s expected to remain for 2 to 3 weeks before he can go home.

“He’s talking in sentences. He’s still a little loopy,” Tammy said. “The sedation was really heavy that they had to give him. … His fingers aren’t working great yet. But, yeah, he’s talking in sentences. He’s reached out to our kids and is feeling much better than he was. He’s feeling blessed to be alive right now.”

Tammy, who has also been recovering from COVID-19, said she’s feeling better, but is still experiencing extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, and using an inhaler.

“I know that Brian’s come over the worst part of this all, and he’s going to survive at this point,” she said. “And so that helps mentally to kind of feel some relief, but I’m exhausted.”

In the first conversations she was able to have with Brian, he was only able to answer in one word or with a blink or nod. It took a few days for him to remember where he was, and why he was there.

“He didn’t remember anything really from sitting on the edge of the bed, he doesn’t remember the ambulance drive down there,” she said.

Meanwhile, Tammy and Brian’s story has been shared far and wide. Tammy was on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt last week to talk about the impact of remdesivir in Brian’s recovery.

Brain, however, she said, hasn’t grasped that he’s famous just yet, but is happy to be improving.

“He just tells me it’s it’s not about being famous, it’s about being alive,” Tammy said. “And he’s so happy to have a second chance. He just really wants people to take this seriously.”

“He did ask me … ‘Does Ellen [DeGeneres] know I’m alive?'” Tammy laughed.

For now, she’s focused on getting their house prepared for when Brian is able to return home.

Brian and Tammy are both huge fans of the Seahawks and a fan group has set up a fund for their medical costs.

“The Seahawks fans have been amazing putting together that fundraiser,” she said. “We were both so overwhelmed. I mean, I haven’t really told him a whole lot about, dollar wise, but people are really amazing. And we’re so, so grateful. This has been a nightmare.”

Listen to the Gee and Ursula Show weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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