Andrew Smith, the professor of practice for the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications, is currently being treated for COVID-19. He gave an update on his condition in a video posted to Facebook on Sunday.
“I’m fighting hard,” Smith said. “The prognosis is ongoing. The goal is to get myself out of intensive care, and when that happens, move to the next step.”
Following the announcement his wife Jennifer Smith made on Saturday confirming he was the patient with the first case of with the novel coronavirus in Riley County, social media was set ablaze with support from current and former students, community members and friends.
“I just want to tell everybody thank you so much for all of the outpouring of concern and love and prayers and thoughts and good vibes. I’ve been seeing all of them and have been buoyed up in spirit by every one of them,” Smith said. “I just can’t thank you enough for your care for me and my family.”
Smith remains in intensive care at Via Christi in Manhattan where he’s receiving treatment for bilateral pneumonia on top of COVID-19.
“As you can see, I’m still hooked up to oxygen, they’re doing chest X-rays. Chest X-rays today, actually not any better,” Smith said. “They’re trying lots of different things here to try to get me back to health.”
In the video, Smith described his symptoms, emphasizing the fatigue the virus brings on and the pressure he feels in his chest because of the pneumonia.
When he returned from London on Monday, Smith said he did not go anywhere. He went straight home and left only to go to the emergency room.
“I just want to let everyone in the community know that we were very cognizant of that and the fear and the [anxiety] that has taken over a lot of people,” Smith said. “I want to tell everybody that that fear and anxiety is real, and it’s okay to feel it. But understand that we are all in this together, and we’re a community. … It’s important that we all look after each other.”