Former NASCAR driver Stacy Compton talks about serious COVID-19 illness, recovery

Local News

HURT, Va. (WFXR) — Former NASCAR Driver Stacy Compton says COVID-19 hit him very hard. He spent more than a week in the hospital, fighting a fever and struggling to breathe, before finally getting released on Christmas Eve.

When he wasn’t feeling well, Compton’s wife Vickie, a nurse, told him to get checked out. When he finally did, the Lynchburg General Hospital staff admitted him immediately.

“I had it in both lungs,” Compton said. “And this all happened within eight hours, 10 hours. That’s the part that surprised myself. And a lot of other people don’t realize how quickly it can go bad.”

As his family prayed he’d get better, Compton spent the next eight days at Lynchburg General.

“I just couldn’t breathe. I had a fever of over 104 degrees and they just couldn’t break it. They tried everything,” Compton said. “They’d come in the middle of the night and ice me down, so many things they tried to do to break the fever. Just getting up and walking to the bathroom, I had to put oxygen on.”

As Compton eventually improved enough to prepare to leave the hospital, his doctor told him the disease could have killed him.

“He said ‘Man, I’m telling you, for a couple days there, it was touch and go. I’ll be honest. I was pretty concerned,'” he said.

Compton admits, while his family did wear masks and socially distance, they also thought many of the warnings from health officials were overblown, that the coronavirus perhaps was not as dangerous as they were making it out to be.

“I will be perfectly honest,” Compton said. “We thought the same thing (many others did), the numbers are inflated, there are political reasons behind it. When they first started talking about the vaccine, I said ‘I’m not going to take a vaccine.’ (Call me a) conspiracy theorist, whatever you want to say. I was one of those Conservatives that said, ‘You know, I’ll just wait.’ Well, I’m telling you, as soon as my mom and dad can get this vaccine, at their age, I’m begging them to get it.”

Compton said his experience with COVID-19 opened his eyes to the dangers of the disease. Even though he’s recovering, he now plans to get vaccinated, himself, as soon as possible. He now urges everyone to take the necessary precautions and get the vaccine.

Compton’s wife and children also caught the virus. All are recovering. Compton said he expects his lingering cough and shortness of breath to go away over the next two months or so.

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