Coronavirus Survivor: Man says he lost 100 pounds, spent a month in the hospital while battling COVID-19

ByAkilah Davis KTRK logo
Thursday, April 16, 2020
'Totally terrifying:' Man describes month-long battle with COVID-19
The New York native says it started with a fever and uncontrollable sweating, then it progressed into hallucinations, pneumonia, double kidney failure and losing almost 100 pounds.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -- After spending nearly a month fighting for his life at Cape Fear Valley Health hospital, Alfred Payne wanted to share his COVID-19 recovery story and offer a chance to educate others.

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"This is not the flu. This is corona(virus) can and will kill you. It's not a game," said Payne, who shot cellphone video of himself while in the hospital. "Treat this like your life depends on it because it does. How serious you take this can mean your life."

When he first contracted symptoms of COVID-19, he said the attack began a fever and uncontrollable sweating. It later progressed into hallucination, pneumonia, double kidney failure and losing almost 100 pounds. He was on daily dialysis and intubated to help with breathing.

The father of three spoke to our sister station ABC11 from the comfort of his home on Thursday after being hospitalized for nearly a month.

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"It's terrifying. Totally terrifying. I did not think I would be here. I saw things that some people probably wouldn't believe," said Payne.

The New York native's close friend lost six family members to COVID-19 in just one week. He decided to share his story of survival and offer words to the healthcare workers who stood by his side through it all.

"Thank you for giving me the opportunity to live. Without them, I would not be here," said Payne.

As it stands now, Payne has memory loss and is currently in physical therapy learning to walk again. He had high blood pressure before COVID-19, but miraculously doesn't anymore.