Wife talks about husband’s struggle with COVID-19 illness in Harnett County


LILLINGTON, N.C. (WNCN) — Tuesday night a Harnett County man remains in quarantine at home after testing positive for COVID-19.

CBS 17 talked on the phone with Jeff Hensley’s wife Toni.

She says her husband started feeling sick while in Hawaii for work earlier this month. He flew back home on March 7.

His symptoms continued, including shortness of breath, coughing, and a runny nose.

At first, Toni Hensley says Jeff didn’t have a fever. The hotline number they called said he didn’t meet the criteria to be tested because he didn’t have a fever.

She’s a nurse and says she understands the limited testing capabilities, but because her husband had traveled recently and was showing several symptoms, he should have been tested earlier.

“I feel like they should have just said ‘how about you go in and let’s go ahead and get this testing done’, but it took a few days,” Toni Hensley said.

Jeff was prescribed an antibiotic, but on Thursday of last week he had a fever, so they followed the recommended procedures and went to a testing site in Cumberland County. 

He was told on Friday that he tested positive and needed to remain at home.

“The frustrating part for me was our anniversary was Friday, so we had plans to at least go to dinner and maybe a movie, and had he not gotten a fever on Thursday we would have been out,” Toni said. “We would have been out spreading more around and not knowing that he had anything because he didn’t have a fever.”

Toni Hensley was tested as well but, so far does not have the virus.

The couple is in quarantine for at least two weeks. They will both have to get additional testing once Jeff Hensley stops having symptoms.

Toni Hensley says he’s expected to make a full recovery, and they’re thankful for their loved ones who have been leaving food and medicine outside their home.

They also check in with doctors and the health department every day.

“We can manage him at home, and if he has a turn for the worse then I’m prepared to take him there, but we need to let the hospital handle what they have there now, and care for the patients that need the care,” Toni Hensley said.

She said she’s remaining calm and hopeful through this situation, but she wants to remind everyone to take the precautions seriously and pay attention to what health and government officials are saying.

“We are just hoping that in the next two weeks we’ll be through all this quarantine and be able to get back to our normal lives,” Toni Hensley said.

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