Three Titusville firefighters have tested positive for coronavirus and are still at home recovering.
One of those is Michael Schettino, who spoke with WESH 2 News on Tuesday about his experience.
Schettino who usually takes care of others as a firefighter/paramedic, suddenly had to take care of himself when he developed coronavirus symptoms last month. "It started out with a fever and a headache on day one, that progressed over-night into body aches and oddly enough I had some really bad back pain and neck pain. Five days was the worst of the symptoms," Schettino said. “The best I could describe it is similar to the flu. Maybe a little bit more intense with a few different symptoms, lasted about seven days.” Schettino said his fiancé also got sick. "Then it was my turn to help her, but she's now over it as well,” he said. When the symptoms went away, he tried to donate plasma to help coronavirus patients, but found out the virus was still in his body. "I needed one negative test on file in order to donate the antibody plasma. When I went to go get that negative test, it came back positive and then it changed things up a bit," Schettino said. While he has not been cleared to go back to work with the Titusville Fire Department, he has had time to reflect on his experience and wants to try the plasma donation again. "Absolutely, not everybody is as lucky as me and some people are suffering far worse symptoms. Take it seriously, we just got to work together and get this thing over with so we can go back to our normal lives," he said.
He also had advice to the public that could help first responders. “If you’re feeling these symptoms that the CDC is putting out there, if you’re able to walk out to your front door and come outside so that we don’t have to enter the house and be exposed to that. If you’re able to, minimize the risk because we still have to work and we still have to be there to be able to help you,” Schettino said.
Aside from both having the coronavirus, Schettino and his fiancé were supposed to get married. While all that has been put on hold, they are thankful they are OK and are ready to help others how they can.
This story first appeared on www.wesh.com