Local News

Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools employee still recovering from COVID-19 after 30 days

Posted May 14, 2020 1:34 p.m. EDT
Updated May 14, 2020 8:33 p.m. EDT

— When you're hospitalized for COVID-19, you're isolated. No family and friends can visit. Your only in-person contact is with doctors, nurses and staff. It's tough on the mind as well as the body. It's a situation the Norris family knows all too well.

Jon Norris is a Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools employee. He was diagnosed with coronavirus a month ago. Norris was taken by ambulance to UNC Hospital on April 13.

“We are now on day 31,” Jennifer Norris said Wednesday from her home. Jon is Jennifer's husband.

“He has been in the hospital, had quite the fight, was on a ventilator, was on dialysis,” Jennifer said of his intensive care stay.

Jennifer can't see her husband in person, the best she can do is video chat with him, a task the nurses must facilitate. “Absolutely amazing,” she calls all the staff at the hospital, “I don't think we could have gotten through this without them.”

Beyond the basic medical care, Jennifer Norris says the nurses have been tech support, photo editors and a good friends. She emailed pictures of her family, the nurses printed them out and put them in Jon's room, “As he was waking up and trying to reorient himself, he was able to have pictures of us,” Jennifer Norris said, something she thinks is key to both patient and caregivers. “I think that was helpful and it gives the health care workers even more link to their patients.”

Jennifer Norris is grateful for the time and attention the medical staff has given her husband. “They are there, and they are taking care of your loved one in the best way that they can," she said.

To say thank you, a flyover Thursday evening will honor healthcare workers around the triangle.

“Even if it's brief, I think the acknowledgment can go a long way,” Jennifer Norris said.

Jon Norris is improving, his wife hopes he can be home by June 5 for their 21st wedding anniversary. ​

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