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Mother suffering from rare autoimmune disease urges public to stay diligent amid coronavirus outbreak

Amber Beckley said that she could die from the coronavirus if she doesn't get the proper treatment.

SANDUSKY COUNTY, Ohio — Along with the elderly, people who are immunocompromised are at a higher risk of getting very sick from the coronavirus. 

Amber Beckley, 33, of Bellevue has a rare autoimmune disease. She wants people to understand how concerning coronavirus is for at-risk people like her. 

Beckley was diagnosed at 26 years old with common variable immunodeficiency or CVID. Her bone marrow does not produce antibodies that fight against infection.

"The only form of treatment is an infusion that I've been getting for around seven years now and that's to actually give me those antibodies from other people," Beckley said. 

Beckley said that her insurance companies aren't currently paying for her expensive life-saving treatment so if she gets coronavirus, it could be deadly; a terrifying thought for the wife and mother of two. 

"My immune system is at 5%. If I caught it, even with treatment from doctors and hospital and ICU, me fighting it off is just not going to happen," she said. 

She thinks that the people who aren't taking the virus seriously are going to spread it to at-risk people.

Her nurse recommended she not leave her house, although she is concerned her husband, who works outside the home, may become infected.

Beckley hopes that she'll have a chance of getting treatment to help her fight the coronavirus. 

"I feel like I was just getting started with my life and not feeling depressed and sick. For it to be ripped out from under me of all times. It's scary."

She and her family are preparing to be home-bound for the next few weeks.

Facts not fear: Putting COVID-19 into context

WTOL 11’s coverage of the coronavirus is rooted in Facts, not Fear. Visit wtol.com/section/coronavirus for comprehensive coverage, find out what you need to know about northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan specifically, learn more about the symptoms, and keep tabs on the cases around the world here. Have a question? Text it to us at 419-248-1100.

Protect yourself from coronavirus

• Cover: Cover your mouth and nose wiht a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
• Dispose: Throw used tissues in a lined can.
• Wash hands: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
• Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not readily available, use and alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
• Avoid touching: Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

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