Reality of contracting COVID-19 and being in an ICU at the CCH

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By Nick Seebruch
Reality of contracting COVID-19 and being in an ICU at the CCH
Brenda Lee Legault with a ventilator at the CCH.

CORNWALL, Ontario – Brenda Lee Legault has been in the Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH)’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) since mid-August battling COVID-19 and she wants people to know that this virus must be taken seriously, and that they need to get vaccinated.

Brenda Lee Legault.

Legault owns and operated Cold Platter Catering as well as Reliable Tent Rentals and said that she began feeling unwell in late July. It began as a stomach bug, which then turned into a cough and a loss of taste.

When she began to struggle to breath, she went to the CCH on Aug. 9 and was given a COVID test and prescribed antibiotics. The next day, she was told that the test had come back positive and that she had the Brazilian variant of the COVID-19 virus.

Five days later, her antibiotics were not helping, and her breathing was worsening. After coughing to the point of vomiting and nearly fainting that night, she was admitted to the hospital the next day on Aug. 15.

When admitted to the hospital, she was put on a ventilator at 90 per cent oxygen. Thankfully, Legault has been showing signs of improvement and has been weaned down to 50 per cent oxygen.

During her time at the CCH in the ICU she has lost around 21 pounds and will be in the ICU for another week at least.

Legault wants people to know her story so that they take the COVID-19 virus seriously and get their vaccines.

Legault herself was not vaccinated when she contracted COVID-19.

“I didn’t take the vaccine because I was scared and unsure, so I decided I would take a wait and see approach. I wanted to see if there were going to be any adverse side effects that would reveal themselves in those who had already received the vaccine,” Legault said who added that to avoid serious illness and death, people should get vaccinated.

In addition to telling the community to take COVID-19 seriously and to get their vaccines, Legault also wants the community to know about the wonderful care she has received at the CCH.

“My doctor, Dr. Paul Westergaard, has taken care of about 150 patients with COVID said some as young as 45 have died as a result of this virus. Another amazing doctor is Dr. Akram Arab, and also Dr. Renee Givari. THESE DOCTORS ARE AMAZING!!! The nurses are super nice, loving, and caring, I cannot believe the quality of care I am getting! People need to know what a wonderful caring hospital staff they have here in Cornwall! I am overwhelmed with the kind of care I am receiving,” she wrote in an email to Seaway News.

As for Legault’s business, she wants to assure her loyal customers that she has not gone out of business and will be back. Her store has been sanitized according to Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) standards. Some catering requests that were booked prior to her falling ill are still being taken care of by her capable staff, and thanks to her husband, her tent rental service is still running.

Anyone needing catering or tent rentals can email  or call Gilles at 613 932 2373 or

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