MARSHFIELD (CBS) – Back in April, doctors and nurses lined the halls at South Shore Hospital cheering for Curtis Akins of Marshfield. He was one of the first patients in our area to recover from a serious case of Covid-19. “It was very scary not being able to breathe,” he said. “This was early on and you just heard about the number of deaths piling up.”

Like President Trump, Curtis said his illness started with mild symptoms. “The first thing I felt was fatigue,” he said recalling difficulty even making it from the couch to the bathroom. “Then very quickly some difficulty breathing,” he said.

Curtis Akins leaves South Shore Hospital after recovering from coronavirus (WBZ-TV)

Living alone with his dogs pebbles and fin, Curtis had few contacts when he was sick. But infectious disease specialists say contract tracing for the president will be a big job. “He’s obviously around a lot of people. He is not always wearing a mask,” said infectious disease specialist Dr. Paul Sax at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

According to Dr. Sax, people are most contagious a few days before showing symptoms.

President Trump visited his New Jersey golf club yesterday and went to a fundraiser and a rally in Minnesota on Wednesday. “Anyone he’s been in a room with, especially in a room for more than 15 minutes at a time when people are not wearing masks, is potentially exposed,” Sax said.

Curtis, whose recovery included weeks on oxygen at home, hopes the president recovers quickly. “Certainly I hope the President and the First Lady don’t have the symptoms too badly. You don’t want to wish that on anybody,” he said.

Curtis still has lingering breathing issues, but doctors assure him he will fully recovery eventually. He says he’s grateful for the care he has received and is giving back by donating his plasma to the Red Cross for use in convalescent plasma treatment.

Cheryl Fiandaca

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