A Couple’s fight against COVID

tracy AREA HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE Matt Rettmer and his wife, Heidi, are in the business of saving lives. But right now, the pair is focusing on Heidi, who earlier this month tested positive for COVID-19. Submitted photo

Tracy native Matt Rettmer saw the effects of a global pandemic firsthand, as he helped his wife battle coronavirus

By Per Peterson

Matt Rettmer has pretty much seen it all.

As a firefighter and paramedic, he has treated sick people, watched people die, seen homes destroyed by fire, and worked motor vehicle accidents.

His skill set, training and education have given him the ability to handle these situations better than most. But watching as his wife, Heidi, fought the battle against COVID-19 might have been the most challenging situation he has ever faced.

“This was a much different experience, being the husband and best friend to my wife,” said Rettmer, a 1990 graduate of Tracy Area High School, who has lived in Castle Rock, CO, for 22 years. “I felt helpless in her getting better and recovering from this virus. The scary thing is that this is an unknown virus that is not cured by the conventional treatment we know. There is no treatment other than to focus on treating the symptoms that the virus is causing. If a person has other underlying medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiac issues, respiratory issues (asthma, COPD), they are more likely to have severe complications if they obtain the virus.”

Rettmer said Tuesday that while Heidi has lost about 10 pounds she was finally on the road the recovery. She spent two-and-a-half days in the hospital and was recently discharged with a small amount of pneumonia. As of Tuesday, she had gone 48 hours without a fever, and by Monday was able to move about, albeit slowly.

“She has started to regain her appetite, however, she is still not interested in coffee or wine,” Rettmer said. “Her sense of smell seems to be even more sensitive, and there are some foods that just don’t appeal to her like before. We expect this is just part of the ‘being sick’ mode.”

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.