“I was scared I wasn’t going to make it back home to my family”: Hartsville woman released from hospital after experimental Covid-19 treatment

Local News

HARTSVILLE, SC (WBTW) – Tonight a Hartsville woman is at home while recovering from Covid-19 after a nearly three-week hospital stay and experimental treatment.

Tammy Hatchell is a wife, mother and grandmother of six, she tells News13, her grand children are her life and before the pandemic she often cared for them while her daughter works.

Several weeks ago though, her daughter spiked a fever and it wasn’t long before it made its way to her, her husband and a few of their grand children.

“My husband spiked a fever the very next day and my grand kids had a fever,” Hatchell explained. “I took care of them for like six days and I was okay, but after the sixth day, I got a fever and came into the ER. They gave me some medicine and I went home fighting a fever for four days, I got to where I couldn’t breathe like a fish out of water. I couldn’t breathe anymore. I had to come back and they told me I tested positive for Covid on May 9th.”

Hatchell said, the worst part of the virus was the breathing trouble.

“I was scared I wasn’t going to make it back home to my family.”

Since May 9th, she was at Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center in Hartsville, where she spent about five days in the Intensive Care Unit, and spent her 50th birthday.

“They said, “Grams when are you coming home?,” I said, I’m coming home soon.”

Soon, came today, as Hatchell left the hospital this afternoon.“I had faith that I would come out with the medicine and all that they gave me; I started feeling better right away, ” Hatchell explained.

That medicine she mentioned, was plasma. 

Hatchell received Total Plasma Exchange. Simply put, her plasma was replaced with that of a donor.

In a statement, Doctor Brian Sponseller, Chief Medical Officer at Carolina Pines said, “Within hours of receiving the TPE, Hatchell began to show signs of improvement. Within days there was also significant improvement in her chest x-rays.”
As for the plasma donors, Hatchell is grateful.

“I thank God for them because they saved my life,” she said. “I wish I could meet them, but I don’t know who it was.”

Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center partners with The Red Cross for the Total Plasma Exchange.

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