Newburgh woman struggles with COVID-19 and tornado clean-up


EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — As many were taking shelter as tornadoes headed toward Newburgh ON March 28, one woman was also battling COVID-19.

As an EF-2 tornado was ripping the roof off her home, Christina Shipley-Walters was sheltering in place.

“We could hear everything beating up the house and we could hear the tornado,” said Shipley-Walters.

She was also under the weather, battling the first signs of COVID-19.

“This is the sickest I’ve ever felt in my life,” said Shipley-Walters. “I felt exhausted. I could hardly talk, I could hardly function.”

Shipley-Walters is a registered nurse who started showing symptoms March 27 and began to self-quarantine. She was tested on March 28, just hours before the tornado struck her home.

“It ripped off branches, it landed on top of my car. I have a convertible and it smashed it,” said Shipley-Walters.

After the storm passed, her results showed she was a presumptive positive. She also found out her fiancé was furloughed. Now the couple have both had to file for unemployment but are facing delays due to the high volume of Americans all trying to file at once.

“It’s just kind of a waiting game and that’s frustrating just going ‘Okay well, we don’t have an income right now’ and we have a house and we have a huge deductible. The tornado deductible is like $2,500,” said Shipley-Walters.

Despite her challenges, Shipley-Walters says she’s trying to stay positive and find the rainbow the storm and her diagnosis left behind.

“I’m blessed to be able to not be in a hospital. I can’t have too many pity party moments right now because there’s too much stuff that needs to be done and there’s too many people that really need help,” said Shipley-Walters.

Shipley-Walters says her symptoms have improved but she still has a slight fever and will remain in quarantine for several more days until she is certain she won’t give the virus to her loved ones.

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(This story was originally published on April 8, 2020)

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