Houston ICU nurse admitted to her own unit for coronavirus

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Houston-area ICU nurse is now in the ICU herself as she battles coronavirus, and she has a warning for those who don't believe the virus is serious.

"I can now honestly say that I know what it's like as a healthcare provider and a patient," Tanna Ingraham said. "It's scary, it really is."

Ingraham, an ICU nurse at United Memorial Medical Center, was reporting for duty on Thursday, but she then found herself feeling really ill.

One of her fellow nurses quickly tested her for COVID-19.

"You're kidding, there's no way, and she said, 'Yeah I'm positive.' So I've been crying all day," Ingraham recalled.

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Ingraham had been caring for coronavirus patients at UMMC. She now finds herself in an ICU bed right there, getting treated by the very people she's worked next to since March.

Ingraham was supposed to stay with her mom for the weekend. She even requested a cake.

"So I pulled out my recipe when she texted me today," her mom recalled.

But soon after that text, another one came.

"And the text said, 'Don't freak out.' And I'm thinking, 'Okay, how are you freaking me out?' And I said, 'What's going on?' 'I have COVID.'"

When Ingraham first told her mom she would head the ICU of a COVID-19 unit, her mom tried to stop her.

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"Nursing is her passion," her mom said. "It's her calling."

Her COVID-19 warrior, as she calls her, now has her own battle.

The whole ordeal is frightening to both women because Ingraham is considered a high risk patient. She has hereditary angioedema.

"It causes inflammation in my airway then you know, we don't know what we're gonna do," Ingraham said.

Both mom and daughter are now sharing their story in hopes of showing people that this epidemic is serious.

"I have seen people die because of it, and I'll be honest, I'm scared to death," Ingraham warned.

"Wear your mask, wash your hands, be cognizant of your surroundings," Ingraham advised.

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