Local CrossFit athlete recounts how he recovered from coronavirus

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — A local man is sharing how he battled COVID-19 and won after fighting for his life in the hospital.

Darryl Chajon, 47, says he began feeling sick on March 24. The CrossFit athlete says he experienced an intense headache, fever and difficulty breathing. 

He says he tested positive for coronavirus. On April 4 he says he was intubated at a Cleveland Clinic hospital. 

Chajon describes the pain of the illness as so unbearable he wished for something he never did before.

“A pressure of that I’d never felt. It felt like I was having not just migraines, I don’t even get headaches, it felt like my head was just going to rupture,” he said. “For my death, I asked God to take me and that I couldn’t do it anymore.”

Chajon says the only thing more difficult than his physical pain was watching hospital staff rush to save lives. 

“You have the glass window in the ICU and watching them run and alarms go off. They’re pulling people on gurneys and people are going into arrest and they’re saving lives. That’s all you can see and so I didn’t want to see it anymore,” said Chajon.

Chajon says he was given hydroxychloroquine. The Food and Drug Administration cautions its use, along with chloroquine, outside of a hospital setting due to the risk of heart complications.

“It reacted the opposite with me. It literally shocked my body and started setting me into an arrest. They only gave me one dose, from what I remember. I think it just works different on different people,” he explained.

Chajon was in the hospital for 13 days, recovered and is now back home with his family. He a message for those who do not take the virus seriously.

“This is real, I barely made it out of there with my life,” he said.

Chajon says he’s putting back the pieces of his life focusing on his business and starting to train again.

“In the next five years I want to make it to the CrossFit games.”

Looking back he has only two words to describe his gratitude to the caregivers who saved his life:

“Thank you.” 

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