Eddie Case Oral History, 2022/03/07


Title (Dublin Core)

Eddie Case Oral History, 2022/03/07

Description (Dublin Core)

[curator's note] I recorded this interview at the Arizona Historical Society's 2nd Annual Covid Memorial Event at the Arizona Heritage Center. Eddie spoke about his experience as one of the first cases of Covid in Arizona, and his illness and long recovery. He views his story as a blessing.
Covid-19 Post Coma Photos

Recording Date (Dublin Core)

March 20, 2020

Creator (Dublin Core)


Contributor (Dublin Core)

Eddie Case
Erin Craft

Partner (Dublin Core)

Arizona State University

Type (Dublin Core)


Controlled Vocabulary (Dublin Core)

English Healthcare
English Biography
English Emotion

Curator's Tags (Omeka Classic)


Collection (Dublin Core)

Survivor Stories

Linked Data (Dublin Core)

Date Submitted (Dublin Core)


Date Modified (Dublin Core)


Date Created (Dublin Core)


Interviewer (Bibliographic Ontology)

Erin Craft

Interviewee (Bibliographic Ontology)

Eddie Case

Location (Omeka Classic)

United States of America

Duration (Omeka Classic)


abstract (Bibliographic Ontology)

[curator's note] I recorded this interview at the Arizona Historical Society's 2nd Annual Covid Memorial Event at the Arizona Heritage Center. Eddie spoke about his experience as one of the first cases of Covid in Arizona, and his illness and long recovery. He views his story as a blessing.

Transcription (Omeka Classic)

Erin Craft 0:01
All right, this is Erin Craft with Arizona State University

Eddie Case 0:04
and I'm here with Eddie case. Today is the seventh of March. And I give you permission for you to record my story.

Erin Craft 0:12
Excellent. Thank you so much. Alright, so thinking back to March 2020, when did you first think of COVID-19 as a threat or something you needed to take seriously.

Eddie Case 0:19
For me, we were my father and I, when he was in town from the Bay Area, we were over. We're getting ready to go out to Camelback Ranch to see the a's and the Yankees and then we received the texts and emails that said spring trainings canceled and we didn't know what to do. We knew that the scenario was getting worse. But we really had no idea found out later that that's the same day that the World Health Organization said we have a pandemic. Okay.

Erin Craft 0:46
That's disappointing. Getting to go to your game. Yeah. Did your life your daily life change once the lockdown started happening?

Eddie Case 0:52
Yeah, in fact, my wife and I both become sick right around mid March and so March 27. I was officially hospitalized. I was one of the first 200 in the state to get the novel Coronavirus. And one of the first 16 At that time to be in the ICU.

Erin Craft 1:13
How How long were you in the ICU? You? Yeah, you don't mind sharing? Not

Eddie Case 1:17
at all. I see you I was in a medically induced coma for 20 days and then was able to get out of dignity Chandler. Let's see. That would have been a few days before May 1. So they got me to a rehabilitation center where I really, really worked hard to like get home be with my wife and our cats. So yeah, a total of 35 days. In a hospital that time no visitors. I never even saw the names of my or saw the faces of my doctors and nurses or any of those only their eyes and Leeson incredible gowns that they'd have to wear to protect themselves.

Erin Craft 1:57
Okay, so how was your summer spent and after that experience,

Eddie Case 2:02
didn't go back to work for nine months was immediately entered myself into cognitive therapy, and then more of a physical therapy, just doing the two together to try and beat PTSD before it kicks in, which usually takes six months. So that's what that's what it was ordered rest and relaxation and then periodically visited every single doctor I could. So that because my half my deductible was paid for the first night in the hospital, right? Yeah. So I was at the liberty to see everyone from dermatologist pulmonologist, cardiologist, everybody, okay to make sure that we're on the right track.

Erin Craft 2:41
All right, and I assume everything's everything was

Eddie Case 2:45
to this day that I know of that we know of is is perfect. I didn't get any scarring. I was intubated five times. And most people they get that sort of intubation, they get damaged to their larynx, throat vocal cords, and I lucked out, no damage to the organs not even any real psychological damage from the event itself.

Erin Craft 3:06
Okay. You mentioned PTSD, did you have some from recovery time that sort

Eddie Case 3:11
of thing? Yeah, it ended up checking in just just about after almost around the time where I was going back into work. So but they have to say that the PTSD I really haven't dreamed much I don't have a dream to COVID very often wear masks or anything we're involved more so that the trauma and the anxiety and the depression kicked in after when dealing with the attitudes of people who were not inclined to believe that this was affecting real people that was where all the where a lot of my pain and and just ability to close it off. That was really hard.

Erin Craft 3:50
Did you and your like your circle of acquaintances Did you run into that or was everyone around you that had seen you suffer so they they weren't the type that for doing that

Eddie Case 4:00
though the app for was really really good. And just about just about everybody that knew me personally was pulling for me and since this was so new, and people knew me they knew that this was an unusual event in itself later on once the vaccine became available and is what actually would start to promote some friends or family members into thinking about that. I faced a lot of backlash there Okay, yeah. Interesting. Yeah.

Erin Craft 4:28
Did you get to do anything I mean, it's terrible to say silver lining but that time at home as you're recovering did anything positive come out of this

Eddie Case 4:34
but everything positive came out of this. This is one of the you know, it's kind of a dark way of looking at it but one of the greatest things that ever happened to me a fleeting to that point, my I was working graveyard shift. I was putting in 60 hours a week I was not taking care of myself. My wife was working really hard. A lot of just depression and kind of at a point where I felt like the job itself I was involved in was a dead end thing. I felt my spirit was kind of lifted. To what I can do next, and then suddenly had a no or this illness takes over. And, and almost didn't survive, it then survived. And now I missed no opportunity to get ahead to, to just tell people, I love that that's a big deal. And so just so many good things came out of this now my overall attitude towards myself, I've never, I've never felt better. I'm in better health now than I ever was mentally, physically. And my wife two were happier than we were at any point in our marriage, this was a blessing. very terrible way to get a blessing. But this was, this was incredible for the timing of it all and everything.

Erin Craft 5:37
What an amazing attitude. Thank you. Yeah. Did you learn something about yourself?

Eddie Case 5:44
A lot, a lot. So now, I really see CSS fragile beings. I really, when I woke up, I didn't know what had happened, I had a lot of hallucinations, ICU syndrome, that were as real as our conversation here. And so I thought that I gotten in some kind of a car accident, or a mishap and didn't know I was there, I woke up with all the tubes and wires in me and I was strapped to the bed because I guess it was in a lot of fight or flight time. And so once they got the ventilator out, then I could talk to my wife on the phone who I hadn't seen, I only felt like three or four days. And then I remember starting to tear up and say I'm so sorry that I damaged our, our car. And she said, You don't know why you're in the hospital. COVID. And I remember just this rush this relief, and I thought, wow, you know, I can't win the lottery. But I sure did here. This is really weird. So okay, so all those dreams, I'm gonna have to unwind those and figure those things out. But I'm here because of a virus. And that was a relief. The other then came the next step of when do I get to go home? Right? And that's when they the doctors a lot of a lot of their answers to my questions, even to today or we don't know. But they said if you can walk out of here, and you can get yourself to a glass of water to the bathroom on your own, you can go home. Okay, so that took that took a couple of weeks. Yeah. Because I lost 55 pounds, mostly a muscle from atrophy from a coma. So I had to rebuild the strength. So it's kind of like an infant for the first three or four days. I couldn't do anything on my own. Yeah. And I had to learn to talk again to wow. Yeah, yeah. When you're when you're putting down with all those different types of medications, and then just you know, they I guess they come in and move around. I have no memory of that. But what I do know is that, you know, your body decides to pick and choose what it wants to save. Sometimes it says, okay, leg muscles are muscles. We don't need those right now. Yeah, go ahead. I'll take the nutrients from those and put them in your heart, your brain, let's go. And that's sort of how it works. I'm sure it's more complex than that. But

Erin Craft 7:40
actually, maybe just as simple as that. Yes, yes, I

Eddie Case 7:43
woke up just like with the string being legs. And I mean, I thought I was 10 years old again, or something. But yeah, so the a lot of work there. Yeah. But wonderful people that I've never been able to thank Yeah, I don't know, their names. Really. I don't know, what became of any of them. But it's that staff over at dignity, and Chandler that were just beautiful people that did the best they could with me. And it worked. Yeah, paid off.

Erin Craft 8:07
Alright, one last question in 100 years, what would you like historians or people in general to know about this, these past two years or your experience personally,

Eddie Case 8:17
it's gonna be so hard to tell, let alone 50 years from now. I thought when I got to the hospital, and I felt like kind of like a star like one of the first ones to get it. I thought to myself, all those documentaries, all those education moments in school where they talked about the the big flu or the move on at plague. I thought that that would have everybody convinced we all took similar classes, we all watched similar documentaries. And you would think that back in the early 1900s, and all those lessons, we experienced sense that this is something we were ready for. And we weren't. So what I'm hoping for, is that as new viruses or things come around that this, this situation that the amount of people we've lost, that's just you know, quadruple that by the amount that they have to stay that survived or lost somebody and then it can at least be understood to a degree that let's just take warning, and let's be careful, let's not let's do our very best to see if we can not make this political but something where you can look to your neighbor, and make sure you're checking on each other. And just being patient at something I'm just hoping that this sort of thing doesn't have to happen again, to the degree it did we're always going to have objectors and everything we do but hopefully not as bad hopefully they'll they'll read about this and and think that wow, this this was pretty serious and we don't have to go through it like they did. Anything else you want to share with us. Now I appreciate you chronicling this and I I'm one of the lucky ones and there's so many people we're probably going to meet today that didn't didn't get lucky but I'm glad to be here and just glad to be able to share this with Appreciate you.

Erin Craft 10:00
Well, thank you so much what a wonderful

Eddie Case 10:06
wonderful Oh yeah, yeah, it's in the thing I haven't met people they went through it to this degree Yeah, but me well today of course Yeah. But it's not every day there's there's 2000 people dying every day

Erin Craft 10:24
right like that's what people forget

Eddie Case 10:26
to 911 So I think about that and know that there's a lot of people that feel a hell of a lot worse than I did

Erin Craft 10:34
today. That's a great miracle story. Thank you so much. Thank you feel free to go on at some point and show anything you do photos or personal work I like Yeah, is

there a way to just just go through that can or is COVID Definitely teen archive okay yes working to get it back up and running Oh, okay. It's still a small one and these are people as well?

Eddie Case 14:11
So doing it now. Excellent. Yeah, looks like it's more or less kind of a shared share your story. So get my name there so that you'll be able to connect to two files here. They're my post COVID So they were they were made roughly two days after they pulled the ventilator together my first bath in a month. Which one of those dry shampoo Yeah, so I just basically put in this story here surveyed audio recording of my story, please apply for others.

Erin Craft 14:39
Okay. Wonderful, thank you so much. wife feels comfortable sharing too. She could submit a story about how a hertz raises like from from the other end of that you know, you bought

Eddie Case 14:57
it Yeah, she wants to be here. She's working on Sony. Yeah, I'm here for both of us. So that would be, that would be pretty cool.

Erin Craft 15:07
It would be. We're trying to collect as many. We have almost 20,000 items. So we're, you know, we're still not we're focusing on quantity, you know, like people whose stories we hadn't before. And

Eddie Case 15:20
I'm so glad you're doing this. Yes. That's one of the things that really can't I mean, people will move on American news cycles, like two weeks. So that's why people are really nonchalant. Now, Arizona doesn't submit numbers every day. Now. They only do it on Fridays. Okay. Trying to help remember that your actions say they'll move on with your life, but it's still it's here and it's people still need to be cautious and wash it scary. Yeah, I think so. It's not fun to get. So I have to locate my story on the map.

Erin Craft 15:59
And you don't have to you can Okay. We'll put it in there for you because we know you're here in Arizona. Is that pretty easy? And did it work?

Eddie Case 16:08
Looks like it's working now. So excellent. I'm gonna be okay. Email me my substitute my submission. Terms of Service. I believe you

Erin Craft 16:19
was very ethical. I promise.

Eddie Case 16:21
This is fantastic. Yeah, so one thing I didn't mention there is my friend that's about to be a doctor over you obey. She actually interviewed me sort of like you want a medical perspective submitted that's at the school paper. And then I got a call to be interviewed by Anderson Cooper. Oh, wow. You can look that up for Yeah, that'd be great at case Anderson Cooper and my wife and I both did that interview and then I did about five other interviews. Even worked with me or woods. Okay. Vaccine awareness coverage, yeah. Awareness Program to definitely while

Erin Craft 16:59
I'll go find that interview, and I'll add it to the archives, please do Yeah. Yeah,

Eddie Case 17:03
you're gonna find a ton of stuff. Okay. Excuse me from that alone. So excellent. I gotta build the story. Wonderful. Okay. And your name again? I'm Aaron. Aaron. Yes. Thank you Yeah,

Transcribed by

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This item was submitted on March 7, 2022 by Eddie Case using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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