"There is a 90% chance of hope. Really," Bob Dix said.
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Bob and Regina Dix were among the first Americans known to contract COVID-19.
"It's not a death sentence. Again, remember, we had a couple in their 70s that contracted the virus, they were our third and fourth case, we talked extensively about them," said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Health, at the state's Thursday update press conference.
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The couple was on vacation in Palm Spring and a few days after flying home, Bob Dix said he started feeling sick. He was hospitalized with COVID-19. His wife was positive as well.
"I really didn't know it was so bad," he said. "I thought it was the regular flu and I would be out soon."
Terri Chaseley, a 45-year-old mother of three from Lake County, was also brought down by the virus.
"My fever went away and I went and made dinner for my family," she recalled. "The next day I went downhill really fast and I ended up in the hospital."
A fit woman, Chaseley found herself stranded alone in a North Shore hospital, intensely nauseous.
"I was transported from one ER to another hospital with a dedicated COVID wing at four in the morning all by myself," she said. "It was terrifying."
Bob Dix is no longer one of the thousands of people in Illinois struggling with coronavirus; he has completely recovered. And while his wife had it too, she said she never felt a thing.
"Right, we survived it. I feel like I was free," Regina said with a laugh.
Chasely, too, is out of isolation. She was able to finally hug her children for the first time in nearly a month this week.
"The problem is you just don't know how it's going to affect you," she said. "I'm a healthy 45-year-old and it took me down!"
So for the sick, the scared, and the frustrated looking for hope through this pandemic: these survivors are it.