MATTAWAN, Mich. — A Mattawan woman is hospitalized with a severe case of COVID-19, putting a face to the growing number of new infections and hospitalizations across the state.
Shannon O’Day Brown, a former nurse turned mom of four, lives in Mattawan, but is at University Hospital in Ann Arbor, on a ventilator, after being transported by helicopter from one in West Michigan last week.
“She’s just so energetic,” said Jonah Brown, Shannon’s son. “She’s fun and caring and she pushes all of us to do the things that we do.”
According to her family, Shannon began developing symptoms of coronavirus at the end of February and the virus quickly took its toll.
After a grim outlook last Thursday, which led to the UM transfer, Shannon’s family says she began showing promising signs of improvement, but still faces a long road ahead.
“The next day she was starting to show improvement and it has continued almost every day,” said Geoff Brown, Shannon’s ex-husband. “Her percentage she’s been on the vent has been almost less and less where she’s 55 now and before she was like 95 or 100.”
Described as always involved, Shannon’s sons say she’s the mom all kids want.
“There are so many things that make it kind of overwhelming,” said Gavin Brown, Shannon’s son.
“I think it’s just a huge reminder that it can literally happen to anyone,” said Jonah Brown. “If you’re a parent, you don’t want to be that parent who has to end up in the hospital away from your kids and if you’re a kid you don’t want that to happen to your parent or sibling or whoever.”
Shannon’s family says they’ve received an outpouring of meals, gift cards, and other acts of service from their community and are thankful for it.
“It kind of feels like we’ve got an army behind us,” said Jonah Brown.
However, they’re asking Michiganders to take care of themselves during the latest surge by disinfecting, masking, and distancing, saying it will help them support her hopeful recovery.
“She was a healthy, strong, vibrant person and just to see what this disease is still doing to people, is scary,” said Geoff Brown. “We just have to… be vigilant and doing the things we need to do until we can get rid of it and protect ourselves.”
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