U.S. markets close in 5 hours 29 minutes
  • S&P 500

    3,262.47
    -47.64 (-1.44%)
     
  • Dow 30

    26,332.90
    -326.21 (-1.22%)
     
  • Nasdaq

    10,937.40
    -248.19 (-2.22%)
     
  • Russell 2000

    1,550.57
    -11.01 (-0.70%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    35.45
    -0.72 (-1.99%)
     
  • Gold

    1,882.30
    +14.30 (+0.77%)
     
  • Silver

    23.63
    +0.27 (+1.16%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.1681
    +0.0003 (+0.02%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    0.8450
    +0.0100 (+1.20%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.2948
    +0.0025 (+0.19%)
     
  • USD/JPY

    104.5500
    -0.0600 (-0.06%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    13,306.29
    +7.44 (+0.06%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    260.27
    -3.37 (-1.28%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    5,576.60
    -5.15 (-0.09%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    22,977.13
    -354.81 (-1.52%)
     

Deadly Virus Leads to Deep Reflection for Consumers Energy Employee, Urges Use of Masks

·3 mins read

ROYAL OAK, Mich., Sept. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Six months after Michigan announced its first positive COVID-19 cases, Consumers Energy gas distribution employee Eric Florka feels fortunate today to have survived a threat to his life and provide an example of the need for people to protect themselves from the powerful disease.

Consumers Energy Logo (PRNewsFoto/Consumers Energy)
Consumers Energy Logo (PRNewsFoto/Consumers Energy)

Florka contracted COVID-19 in April and spent 44 days in the hospital with a 105-degree temperature that ravaged his body to the point his limbs were incapacitated. He says his family was told death was near.

"This virus is the real deal, I can't stress it enough," said Florka, who lost 40 pounds in two weeks. "Do what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones from this deadly disease. Start by masking up. It's not really too much to do to protect yourself and those around you."

Florka, a 21-year Consumers Energy employee, says he still experiences guilt about why his life was spared while over 180,000 people have died in the pandemic's wake. "It's something I think about all the time," he said Florka "Maybe I'm here to spread the word on the importance of masking up, so that's what I'm doing. It's an important message."

He began his battle on April 9 when a co-worker said he didn't look or sound well. He thought it was just allergies and that he was fine. As a precaution, he went home for the day.

Over the next several weeks, he found out how devastating COVID-19's grip could be while hospitalized. He lost his sense of smell and endured a fever that peaked at 105 degrees for almost a week. He was so weak he couldn't walk, and it was just recently that his legs and arms returned to full strength.

Fortunately, a match for Florka's blood plasma was located and within days after receiving the transfusion, he was on his way to recovery.

Now back to his full-time job with Consumers Energy, Florka says he feels like a different person, one who is so grateful to breathe in fresh air, play golf with his son, watch his daughter ice skate and have family dinners.

"I'm not supposed to be here," he said. "I vowed when I was laying in that hospital bed for all of those days that when I got home that I would discover something new each day. Do something that I have never seen, heard or smelled. I have done that every day since I have been out. I will for the rest of my life."

Florka also discussed his illness and recovery in a podcast. To listen, go to https://www.buzzsprout.com/1218548/5130910-covid-journey-with-eric-florka

Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and/or electric service to 6.7 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

For more information about Consumers Energy, go to www.ConsumersEnergy.com

Check out Consumers Energy on Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/consumersenergymichigan
Twitter: https://twitter.com/consumersenergy
LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/company/consumersenergy
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/consumersenergy

Cision
Cision

View original content to download multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/deadly-virus-leads-to-deep-reflection-for-consumers-energy-employee-urges-use-of-masks-301127131.html

SOURCE Consumers Energy