coronavirus

‘Don't Sleep on This': Boston School Resource Officer Recovering From COVID-19 Warns of Seriousness

Boston School Resource Officer Jay Greene was in a coma for 30 days after contracting COVID-19, and he has a warning for people who are not taking the pandemic seriously

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Editor's note: An earlier version of this story stated that Jay Greene was a Boston police officer. He is a school resource officer with the Boston School Department.

COVID-19 has the potential to be life-threatening to anyone, but the CDC says chances of infection, hospitalization and death increase for people of color, and that symptoms can be more severe for those with underlying medical conditions.

Boston School Resource Officer Jay Greene falls into both of those categories. And he has a warning for people who are not taking this illness seriously.

In March, when Greene caught COVID-19, he had already being suffering from diabetes and a stroke that led to kidney failure.

"I was in a coma for 30 days," Greene said.

His family told him what they were feeling during that time.

"My kids were going crazy. My wife was going crazy, everybody not understanding what was going on," Greene said.

Once Greene awoke from the coma, he could only communicate with his family by cellphone. He had to learn to walk again.

"When I stood up, I fell back like I had six shots of gin in me or something," he said. "I was tripping because I didn't understand that I can't walk."

It took two and half months of treatment and rehab for Greene to walk out of that hospital on his own and reunite with loved ones.

His family often posts videos on social media celebrating his recovery. But Greene is keenly aware he could have died.

As cases spike across the state and the country, he's cautioning everyone to take COVID-19 seriously, especially those with underlying health conditions and people of color, who disproportionately contract the illness.

"Don't sleep on this. Don't. Because there are so many people that have passed on, a few people I know that lost their loved ones behind it. My kids and wife, they could have lost me," Greene said through tears. "They didn't understand it, they didn't know if I was going to wake up, they didn't know. But I'm here."

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