Libby Barker: Her personal Covid battle

Published 1:58 pm Friday, February 26, 2021

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Libby Barker is 60 years old and has battled an extreme case of COVID-19 for weeks now.

Barker initially was notified she had Covid in August along with a lot of her family; however, her case was the worst.

Barker had some worrisome health conditions going into her battle including hypertension, obesity and diabetes, just to name a few. She started out with confusion, low oxygen and shortness of breath.

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She went by ambulance to Claiborne Medical Center where she was later transported to Fort Sanders Intensive Care in Knoxville, Tennessee where she was placed on a bipap machine for two days.

She was placed subsequently on a ventilator and feeding tube for nine more weeks.

The doctors told her daughters that she likely would never come off of the vent but God had another plan for Libby.

After weeks of being in the ICU at Fort Sanders she was sent to Select Specialty which is located on the fourth floor of the Fort Sanders hospital.

While there she had multiple blood transfusions and a tracheotomy.

Her struggle was long but eventually she came off the vent and began improving.

The worst part of it all was not being able to see family as usual.

Barker talked about the unfortunate situation, ” While I was in the ICU, I wasn’t allowed any visitors except on zoom every other day. When I got to Select Specialty I got to have my daughter’s visit me.”

She described the process, “It was one at a time which they both took turn about. Since October I have been a resident of Diversicare of New Tazewell for rehab and I still can’t walk. I have only taken a few steps. I’m on continuous oxygen since Covid and I have lost over 100 lbs.”

She still isn’t seeing her family as often as she would like, “I can only see my family at the window but I talk to them daily. It has been six months since I have gave my grand kids a big hug. What I would give to be able to be with them. I feel very blessed that God has allowed me to be where I am today and pray God will allow me to be home with all my friends and family soon.”

Barker offered this bit of advice, “I would like to encourage everyone to get the Covid vaccine as I have already had both vaccines. I would like to also encourage everyone to wear their masks.”

She went on to thank a few people, “I would like to thank Claiborne Medical Center, Fort Sanders Regional and Select Specialty, Diversicare, my friends and family and most importantly God for bringing me this far. Please continue to remember me in your prayers. May God bless you, and keep you safe.”

Barker has great respect for those taking care of her now, “I would like to add a special thank you to the staff at Diversicare for their excellent care. There has been times, I remember, when I could have died if the nurses and CNA hadn’t brought my sugar back up when it was low. Two other times I fainted and sent me to the hospital. Diversicare takes very good care of their patients.”

Her battle has been a long one but she has found that being positive and having a focused goal of seeing her family and giving credit to God goes a long way in the healing process.