Watch CBS News

Former WBZ Intern Details Her Family's Battle With Coronavirus

BOSTON (CBS) -- When a man from Marblehead went to the hospital with the coronavirus, his two daughters decided to ride out their symptoms at home. One of his daughters, Shanna McCarriston, is a writer for and a former WBZ intern. Shanna told WBZ-TV's Levan Reid the virus affected everyone in the family differently.

Shanna, her father Rick, and her sister Jenna all came down with COVID-19. Rick, a 56-year-old essential worker, came down with the virus first and tested positive. While Shanna was never tested, she's a presumptive case based on her symptoms and the fact that she lives in the same house as someone who did test positive.

Shanna's symptoms started the same time her dad went to the hospital in late March.

Shanna McCarriston
Shanna McCarriston (WBZ-TV)

"There were so many symptoms that I had, and they didn't all hit at once. They all slowly happened," explained Shanna, a healthy 24-year-old. "At first it was a horrible, horrible headache. After that I had the sore throat and runny nose. They weren't horrible, like a bad cold or flu. Then the third day I woke up and it felt like I was hit by a car, the body aches were so bad.

"They were all over and it was really hard to sleep," she explained. "I was so exhausted. ... I did lose my taste, but it's coming back. Everything tastes bad right now, and I'm not sure when things will taste good again."

Eventually, Shanna's cough worsened and she had difficulties breathing. She spent the next two weeks out of work.

Shanna McCarriston
Shanna McCarriston and her parents (Family photo)

"It really gives you no choice, these symptoms," said Shanna.

Rick's symptoms were worse, and he spent two weeks in the hospital. That led to a six-day stay in the ICU, where things got bad. He was never on a ventilator, but was hooked up to oxygen during that stay.

When he came home, it was to a joyous neighborhood -- and also a happy nursing staff.

"When he finally did leave, all the doctors and nurses clapped for him and called him their 'success.' He was in the hospital for two weeks and they were amazing for him," explained Shanna. "He didn't realize how horrible of a situation he was in until later. He thought he wasn't doing well, but then the doctors told him it was a scary situation and we were really lucky."

The McCarristons are feeling better, but it was a scary few weeks of misery for Shanna and her family. It has completely changed everything in the household.

"It's been crazy and super stressful," she said. "I don't want to go outside and there will come a time when I have to come outside. But I'm nervous -- will I get it again? The outside world seems super daunting to me."

Shanna is urging everyone to stay inside if they can and practice social distancing. She's been telling her story over social media, asking everyone to follow the guidelines in place to help flatten the curve.

And if you're wondering about Shanna's mother, she's had no symptoms through all of this. That has earned her a new nickname within the McCarriston household.

"We're calling my mom 'The Hulk,' because she hasn't had any symptoms. It's amazing. She's been really great trying to take care of us while trying to socially isolate," said Shanna.

From everyone in the WBZ family, we wish Shanna and the whole McCarriston family well.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.