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Local nurse demonstrates what it is like to become a patient from COVID-19

Please, wear a mask.
Jun 26, 2020 – 05:10 PM EDT
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Tommye Austin, Chief Nurse Executive at the University Health System is demonstrating to the public the results if you end up in the hospital from COVID-19. Austin wants to help spreads the word of wearing a face mask or being placed on a ventilation device.

“Today, I decided I want to be placed on the ventilator so you can see the difference between wearing a mask, which is very simple, and being placed on a mechanical ventilation device,” Austin said during a Facebook live video, before she was put on the ventilator.

Videos from Austin were posted to Facebook of her demonstration of why it's important to wear a mask.


Austin later showed us discoloration of her face due to the lack of oxygen.

“This is how you look when you’re not getting enough oxygen. Your skin is modeled and your lips are bluish. You don’t look pretty. I think I’d look much better with that mask on,” Austin said.


This next video shows Austin intubated by the medical staff at the hospital. Now, in reality Austin didn't contract COVID-19, but is demonstrating to people what you could be going through when you don't wear a mask.

“We all have choices... and this is one of the reasons why we choose to wear masks,” said one of the medical staff members in the video. “We want to keep ourselves safe, our loved one's safe, our patients safe, and our community safe. Thank you for doing what’s right.” said a health official standing to the side of Austin's bed.


Moments later, Austin was taken off of the ventilator expressing her experience was an unpleasant one.

“Oh my goodness. I just got off the ventilator and I can tell you, I’d much rather put my mask on than be put on that ventilator. It is so uncomfortable,” Austin said in the video. "First of all you got that tube down your throat and its stuck between your teeth and your cheek, then the machine is moving for you. I can't even describe the experience."


“I just had to experience it because so many people think that wearing a mask is about politics. Wearing a mask is about public safety, patient safety, family safety, peer safety. So, please wear your mask.”

One of the most important pieces of protection any person can do is wear a face covering to help protect their community from transmittal of the virus.

As of June 26, there are 202 people in ICU and 94 people on ventilators across numerous hospitals in San Antonio.

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