WTOC's Lyndsey Gough in hospital.

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit many in the sports media world, and one of the latest cases involves Lyndsey Gough. Gough, a sports anchor and reporter with Savannah, Georgia-based CBS affiliate WTOC-11, believes she contracted the novel coronavirus on June 20. She was diagnosed with COVID-19 on June 26, and  has been hospitalized since July 9, including undergoing an emergency appendectomy thanks to damage doctors believe was caused by the virus. On Friday, Gough shared a GoFundMe page that her friend Emily Kessinger has set up to help with her medical costs:

Here’s a Facebook post Gough shared about her battle earlier this week:

Some key parts of that:

July 9th I got to Candler’s ER and was given a lab work up and a CAT scan. After several hours, the doctor (a UK med school grad!) told me he was calling in the surgeon- my appendix needed to come out and SOON.

They tested me again for COVID-19, still positive, though I had done my recommended 2-week quarantine & then some.

My surgeon told me essentially, coronavirus had been like a “lightning strike” to my system. I now had appendicitis & it was very large. He would try to take it out with small incisions, but no promises. Before midnight July 9. I was off to surgery.

Fortunately, pre-op chest x-rays revealed no lung damage from coronavirus. A win.

Through all of this I was ALONE, mind you. COVID patients can’t have visitors. Behind-the-scenes I was arranging care for my dog (thanks to everyone who took care of her!!). I don’t do well with needles, blood- any of it, so this required some SERIOUS bravery on my part not to freak out (I cried once to my mom, can’t lie.)

My appendix, along with some kind of stone & part of my colon are gone. The appendix was larger than a baseball, I’m told. I have a wicked incision due to the complications that is stapled up. I had 1 IV and a tube up my nose. They’re worried about me getting pneumonia and blood clots.

Having surgery amid a pandemic is surreal. My surgeon told me if I wasn’t healthy, and this pain wasn’t so bad he wouldn’t operate on a COVID patient if he didn’t have to. My mask had to come off in the OR for oxygen & tubes, so they put my head in a clear box, sort of like what you may see a preemie baby in.

Gough goes on to share in that post that her oxygen levels are improving now, but that it’s been a slow process. She’s currently on two IVs, and gets “two shots in my stomach daily for blood clots. 6 finger sticks a day for blood sugar. Multiple blood draws for lab work. Vital checks every 2 hours.” And she adds that “I’m making progress, but still in lots of pain and am weak…it’s been 3 weeks and I have no clear end in sight.” She has also been sharing regular updates on her story on Twitter:

Gough also spoke to WTOC colleague Jake Wallace for a piece Thursday, saying that she hopes that sharing her story will make people aware of how dangerous this disease can be:

“You have to take this seriously, because you don’t know,” she said. “Oh it only affects old people, or oh it’s just like the flu. It’s not. Even if you don’t think the mask helps or that it’s uncomfortable, it’s a lot better than all this. I promise.”

Our best wishes go out to Gough as she recovers. For those looking to support her GoFundMe, that page is here.

[WTOC; photo from Lyndsey Gough on Twitter]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously worked at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.