Founder of Milwaukee Mom site shares family's experience with coronavirus

NOW: Founder of Milwaukee Mom site shares family’s experience with coronavirus

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Sarah Kooiman has worked to create a platform where people can share their stories. 

She is the founder and owner of Milwaukee Mom, an online platform and resource community for parents in the greater Milwaukee area. 

"The goal is really simple - to share stories of real parents in the area," she said. 

A mom of three herself, she recently shared her family's story. 

"Once it hit us, I'm like okay, I'm just gonna come out raw and real," she said. 

What hit them, was the coronavirus. 

"I had this like foreboding sense in my gut like this is gonna be bad, I just know this is gonna get bad," she said about losing her sense of taste and smell after experiencing other symptoms like a cough and headache in mid-July. 

She said she does not know how she contracted the virus. The week before her symptoms started she and her family had spent time with her in-laws in Door County. She said they spent most of their vacation outside and wore a mask whenever she went inside a public place. 

About five days after she started showing symptoms, her husband started showing symptoms. 

"Basically I was patient zero, then it hit my husband, then my oldest son," she said. 

They had to isolate themselves, even from their other two asymptomatic children. 

"Asymptomatic children are 10 and 8 so they are old enough to make themselves sandwiches, they’re old enough to work Netflix," she said, "Apart from the fact everyone in their family was sick, they got to basically watch TV for as long as they wanted and just stay away from us."

She had what was described as a moderate case.

"Make no mistake, a moderate case is still miserable," she said. 

Her husband's case was severe. He got pneumonia and spent five days in the hospital. He was treated with steroids and Remdesivir. 

"I couldn’t get past the entrance cause I, too was COVID positive, so I basically had to drop him off and go 'See ya, text me updates.'"

As she dealt with how she was feeling physically, she was also struggling with something else. 

"I started thinking did I do enough? I think that’s the question mom guilt feeds on, am I enough? Me as the mom, I’m the one who brought it in the house I couldn’t help but blame myself, I didn’t do enough or I made a mistake or I should have done this better or that better, and that was really terrible," she said. 

She said she wanted to share her story to help others who may eventually experience coronavirus in their families. 

"If I could just share what it felt like personally, maybe that will make somebody else feel less scared or maybe feel more informed," she said. 

To read more about her story, read her blog post on Milwaukee Mom here

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