- Publish Date
- Wednesday, 1 April 2020, 9:38PM
Riverdale star KJ Apa's parents contacted Covid-19 after a trip to Los Angeles, where they attended their son's movie premiere.
""Honestly I thought I was going to die ... people absolutely need to take this seriously - it's the worst thing I've ever had," Tupa'i Keneti Apa told the Coconet.
Tupa'i Keneti Apa, 56 and wife Tessa tested positive for their virus when they returned to New Zealand, the Coconet reported.
They'd visited the City of Angels and attended the premiere for son KJ's film, "I Still Believe".
Based on a true story, the film follows Christian music star Jeremy Camp - played by KJ - as he rises to fame and the love story of his first wife amid her later cancer diagnosis.
Apa senior shared his experience with the virus in the hope that it would encourage Pacific communities how crucial it was for big aigas (families) to stay in their bubble.
Tupa'i Keneti Apa told The Coconet he first lost his sense of smell and taste on March 13.
The next day he had body aches and a high temperature as he flew home to New Zealand and began to self-isolate.
"I just thought I had the normal flu or bad cold."
But his condition worsened and he developed a bad cough.
Apa and his wife were tested for Covid-19 at a Remuera clinic on March 20. They both tested positive.
"They called an ambulance and took me to hospital," he said.
"I was discharged five hours later after assessments and cleared me for bronchitis. However my breathing got worse."
Just over a week after first losing his sense of smell and taste, he couldn't breathe at all unless he was lying horizontal.
The day before, his worried wife called an ambulance to their house, Apa said.
He was told he wasn't sick enough to be taken back to the intensive care unit, "although at that point my breathing was very laboured".
But Apa is now recovering well, he said.
"I can now get out of bed and breathe okay for about 30 mins before I have to lie down again. And I can now smell and taste things again. Each day I'm feeling a little stronger."
Get well soon Apa whanau!