Income loss, housing insecurity threatens Dayton family after recent COVID-19 battle

DAYTON — A Dayton family is left wondering how they’ll pay their rent after their COVID-19 battle has kept them home for a month.

As of Friday, all members of the family have recently tested negative for COVID multiple times, but they’re still suffering from symptoms.

News Center 7′s Kayla Courvell sat down with the family to find out how they’re dealing with the loss of income.

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Joi Heminger told WHIO-TV she, her husband Jack and her daughter Camee started to get sick on September 5th.

At the time, she was working in a local hair salon more than 60 hours a week.

After testing positive for COVID on September 8th, her husband Jack ended up in the hospital with COVID and pneumonia.

Days later, things for Joi and Camee started to go downhill and they opted for the monoclonal antibody treatment.

“We got that on day six because we were almost at the limit. She got better right away, I got sick right away. I left with a temp of 102, couldn’t breathe, SATS were in the 80′s, lips were blue and my daughter and son took me to the emergency room,” Joi said.

Joi was also diagnosed with COVID pneumonia and moved to intensive care. Things improved, and after eight days she was released.

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One month later, Jack remains in rehab in Miamisburg with no set date on when he’ll be home. Joi is home but still struggling to get her health back.

“This headache, it’s still with me and I feel like my head is in a vice. The chronic nausea that goes along with it,” Joi said. “My energy is still gone. We tried to go to the grocery for the first time and we had to stop four or five times because I get winded.”

As a hair stylist, Joi says she’s no longer making money, but is still too weak to go back to work. It could be weeks before doctors tell her she can return.

She said she’s applied for every bit of help available, from unemployment to local charities, but at this point, nothing has come through.

“In the mean time, my rent is due, my electric is due, my water is due, there’s no resources for car payments, for car insurance, for cell phones,” Joi said.

She also told News Center 7 she doesn’t have health insurance and will have to pay for the treatment she’s received so far out of pocket.

“An eight day stay with a COVID unit intensive care, probably in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and that’s just the hospital bill,” Joi said.

Joi said she’s not vaccinated, a decision she felt was best for her and her family after battling the virus.

“I still have trepidation with getting an injection that will get me sick, there’s still unknowns with it, I stand by that, but I will follow what my doctor is saying and I will get vaccinated in 90 days,” Joi said.

At this point, the family says neighbors have been a huge help in bringing food and necessities.

They’ve also set up a GoFundMe to help offset living costs while she’s off work.