36-year-old man who spent days on ventilator for COVID-19 now warning other young adults

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SALEM, Ohio (WJW) — A local man says his experience with COVID-19 is a cautionary tale for young adults everywhere.

 “I never thought it would happen to me, being my age and everything else,” said 36-year-old Travis McDonald of Salem.

But McDonald is a COVID-19 survivor and now he’s warning others, especially young people, to take the virus seriously.

“I’ve told my family and everyone around me to take the most precautions you can.  This can affect anyone,” said McDonald.

His warning comes as Governor DeWine announced Thursday a big increase in coronavirus cases, with a worrisome spike in young adults.

 Almost 60% of cases are in the 20 to 49-year-old age range.

“I just want to get my story out and tell people that it’s not something that will give you a cold and go away. It can cause you to be where I was,” said McDonald.

 McDonald is an ER nurse at UH Portage. He got sick with COVID-19 in late March and ended up in the ICU on a ventilator for days.

 After more than a month of recovery, McDonald returned to work in May.

“I get more short of breath more often than I used to. I’ve been trying to get exercise in, work on my cardio. I feel good otherwise,” said McDonald.

McDonald says no one in his home caught the virus because he quarantined himself right away.

“After having my experience, it’s definitely been an eye opener. I wear a mask everywhere I go, so does my family,” said McDonald.

The governor said the average age for people testing positive in March was 51. So far in June, that number has decreased to 42.

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