By the time Bill Prebola learned he was the 14th person in Wyoming County to contract COVID-19, he was already on the mend.
“I was surprised in the sense that the fever went away within two days and I had zero respiratory symptoms,” he said. “Thankfully when the results came back positive, I was already feeling much better. I didn’t take a turn for the worst. It was a very mild case.”
In April, Prebola remembers feeling weak, fatigued and just generally run down. He spiked a high fever right before Easter and got tested for COVID-19 at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.
About 48 hours later, his test came back positive.
“I was one of the lucky ones,” he said. “Within two days, the fever went away.”
A partner at Northeastern Rehabilitation Services in Wilkes-Barre, Dr. Prebola has appointments at several area hospitals. When businesses shut down statewide to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, his work remained essential.
“Even before I got sick, when the schools closed down and the hospitals closed to visitors, I was the one in my family going into the community,” he said. “The Prebola household was shut down, so to speak.”
Outside of the medical field, Prebola serves on the Tunkhannock Area School Board and dedicates time to volunteer work, such as the Tiger Fund for Excellence.
His mild symptoms, which reminded him mostly of a common cold, allowed him to recover at home in Monroe Twp. He’s thankful for this, and the fact that his wife Marianne and four children didn’t get sick, too.
“This virus back in March and early April was very concerning to the medical community,” he said. While concerns remain, he said we know much more about it than we did before.
Prebola said he’s in favor of everyone staying the course with mitigation procedures like wearing masks and practicing social distancing. While there are tons of mild cases out there, he reminded the public that it’s important to protect the most vulnerable.
“There are some people, and especially those over 70 years old with three or more comorbidities, those are the folks that are at high, high risk of really getting sick,” he said.
Prebola plans to donate convalescent plasma in hopes of helping other COVID-19 patients.
He feels fortunate to live in Wyoming County, which aside from having “a fantastic community,” has reported fewer confirmed cases than other areas.
“I think we have responsible people in the community and I think that’s one of the great things about living in Tunkhannock,” Prebola said. “My family, we love where we live, and we love the community… We’re very lucky to live where we live.”
Prebola also discussed his experience with COVID-19 in Stone House Gives Back, a video series with Stone House Retirement Income Planners. Visit stonehouseretire.com to watch the video.