‘I was scared to death’: Retired police officer shares terrifying experience with COVID-19

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — A retired Cleveland police sergeant spent 27 years facing life and death situations but says her toughest battle was fighting off a virus she thought was going to kill her.

“I was scared to death. I called my friend Dr. Tom on the phone and he said to get to the ER right away,” Retired Cleveland Police Sgt. Sue Sazima told the I-TEAM. “I kissed my dogs and put my will and medical directives on the kitchen table. I really didn’t think I was coming back home.”

She was taken by ambulance to Cleveland Clinic’s Marymount hospital. She said she had pneumonia, fever, and severe head pain. Since she was contagious, she could not have any visitors. She used her cell phone to call relatives and she told them she wasn’t sure she was going to survive.

“You wonder if you let someone down,” Sazima said. “If I forgot to say thank you, you really look at your life and your life choices.”

She added she is extremely grateful to the medical workers that helped save her life.

“They have all these horrible things in their own lives, you know, flooded houses, sick children, elderly parents, but these medical workers they suited up and came in,” Sazima said. “They were so calming and kind and respectful, you know you see the fear in their eyes. I have to give a special thank you to the staff on 3 west they were incredible.”

She has no idea how she got the coronavirus, and now that she is out of the hospital and recovering, she wants to do what she can to encourage everyone to stay home.

“We have to give these first responders a break,” Sazima said. “We need to stay home. We have to help slow this spread.”


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