On January 7, 2006, my fiancé and I took a 7-day Western Caribbean cruise from Port of Charleston, SC, on Norwegian Cruise Line’s “Majesty”. On the second night, I developed an irritation in my throat. By the end of the third day I was dehydrated, running a high fever, experiencing chest pains, and an uncontrollable cough. I went to the ship’s doctor, who told me that my condition was caused by bacteria in the ship’s ventilation system…
The doctor gave me Gatorade and Tylenol and instructed me to come back in the morning. In the meantime, we noticed that numerous passengers were also coughing. By the fourth day, I could not even get out of bed. My fever was so high and I could barely breathe from the continuous coughing and pain in my chest. These symptoms continued throughout the remainder of the cruise.
On January 14th, when we finally returned to Charleston, my fiancé and I drove directly home and to the hospital emergency room in Knoxville, TN, where I was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ Disease and immediately quarantined.
Since then, I have been hospitalized five times, deathly sick for 46 consecutive days, and unconscious for most of January and February.
Recently, I was referred to a pulmonologist (lung specialist), due to probable permanent lung damage. The Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and Department of Health have been contacting me to obtain additional information and updates on my condition.
As of this week (February 27th), I am just beginning to walk without assistance