Kelly Price — who was reported missing in Georgia by her family on Sept. 18 following a COVID-19 diagnosis — has revealed that she is safe, but made the active decision to remove herself from friends, family and social media after a near-fatal battle with coronavirus.
In a video interview with TMZ published Sunday (Sept. 26), the gospel and R&B singer explained that her “disappearance” was due to her being unable to have visitors, as she had contracted COVID-19 — and a very serious case at that.
“At one point, they lost me,” the Grammy-nominated singer said of her medical team, later clarifying, “I died.” She added that when she finally woke up a few days later, the first thing she remembered were the doctors around her “asking me if I knew what year it was.”
Price first shared in a July 29 message on Instagram that she contracted COVID-19. When her symptoms continued to persist, her husband became her caretaker at home with guidance from her primary care physician. After developing a fever of 103, Price was taken to the hospital by ambulance.
Price’s family initially told TMZ on Sept. 24 that she was discharged three weeks after being admitted to the hospital and had contacted her kids upon her release, but wasn’t heard from in the following weeks.
“I was discharged. The hospital needed beds. I was able to go home and with oxygen and have health aides check on me throughout the week, which is what happened for a period of four weeks after being released from the hospital. People were definitely seeing me,” Price explained to the outlet. “The people that could actually say something are not allowed to because of HIPPA law, but I was being seen several times a week by several health aides after being released on oxygen, and I actually just got my clean COVID-19 test a week ago.”
Though she’s home and negative, she’s not out of the woods yet. “I have what is called long COVID,” the singer told TMZ. “I am facing a very uphill battle right now. … I suffered a lot of internal damage, and so I have a lot of rehabbing to do.”
According to the CDC, those who suffer from “long haul COVID” may suffer a various combinations of symptoms such as dizziness, brain fog, heart palpitations, autoimmune conditions and more lasting weeks or months.
Price also explained that though her family reported her missing, she never actually was, and that not having contact with certain family members is a normal occurrence due to strained relationships, primarily with her sister. “It hasn’t been two months since I’ve seen my sister, it’s been a year. I hadn’t seen in the same room as her since my mother’s funeral. Prior to that, we hadn’t seen each other all pandemic long. That’s not new for us,” Price said. “We’ve been strained for a very long time. I was never missing. I was in my home being seen by doctors.”
Shortly after the TMZ interview was published, Price posted a message to her followers on Instagram, thanking them for keeping her in their thoughts. “Thank you for your love, concern, and prayers. I truly appreciate them and all of you who sincerely did them. They are not lost on me. I promise,” she wrote. “I’m going back into solace and silence where I can put things first and that is to be restored, to be healthy and to be whole.”
See Price’s Instagram posts — and video interview with TMZ — below.