Memory loss, amputation of fingers, panic attacks: how COVID-19 changed life recovered

Many of the 1.7 million Americans are infected with coronavirus, dealing with lingering symptoms and changes that their lives will never be the same writes USA Today.

Потеря памяти, ампутация пальцев, панические атаки: как COVID-19 изменил жизнь выздоровевших

Photo: Shutterstock

An avid skier prepares to amputate 8 fingers and 3 toes due to complications caused by a coronavirus. 27-year-old woman to have beaten the virus, suffers from panic attacks and depression. Recovered from coronavirus Florida resident lost his memory and vision. Here are the stories of several people who survived the disease, but their lives are seriously changed.

Came home with tubes in nose

Lately, the 73-year-old angel Andujar can not pass from my bedroom to the living room without panting. The tube in his nose to supply oxygen to the lungs, affected by COVID-19.

Andujar spent 18 days in the hospital in new Jersey, struggling to survive after Contracting coronavirus. The restoration of the house, too, was heavy. He slept at night only a few hours and then woke up, gasping for air. He tried not to watch TV — a lot of news about the coronavirus was one of concern.

Andujar, a retired physician, originally from Puerto Rico, used to do business: to work on projects around the house, cut the grass, to visit his grandchildren. He does not know whether there will be a long lung damage. Now he likes to be surrounded by friends and family. When his grandson was celebrating his fourth birthday, angel watched from the window.

“As long as I have a daughter and grandchildren, I need nothing more, he says. This is enough for me”.

Her friends die from COVID-19, while she is recovering

Two months after moving to Denver Ravi Turman thought she had a irritating cough was a residual altitude sickness or a bad cold. On March 22 she went to the emergency room at the hospital where I went into a coma and spent 10 days on the respirator with damaged coronavirus infection light.

After returning home, 51-year-old Thurman wondered why she recovered, when so many others died from COVID-19. Page women on Facebook is filled with messages on how friends and family in the U.S. die from the disease. In one family from Indianapolis, which she knew all 7 people got sick COVID-19, and three of them died.

She is still struggling with back pain, but feels he will soon recover. A woman wants to show others that you can survive.

“It’s not necessarily a death sentence, she says. You can fight this. Do not lose hope.”

She survived 9/11, and now the coronavirus

In the darkest moment, when her lungs tightened and she felt the approach of death, Wendy Lansky seized on one thought: “Osama bin Laden didn’t kill me. I’m not dying from this virus.”

49-year-old Lansky, who survived September 11, spent 13 days in the hospital new Jersey, fighting the coronavirus. Her temperature rose to 103 F (39.4 per C), developed severe chills, and it seemed to her that “something is sitting on your chest”, said the woman. Doctors argued about whether to put her on a ventilator, but instead was confined to an oxygen mask. Slowly but she recovered.

Being home Lansky worried that palpitations and fatigue after the illness will be permanent.

This is not the first tragic event in her life. She was sitting behind a Desk on the 29th floor of the North Tower of the world trade center when the September 11, 2001 in the building crashed the first plane. Lansky ran up the stairs to the street at the moment of impact of the second plane. The woman said that in the first minutes of stress reactions like: “Who did this? Where is the safe place?” She admits that the worst is fear of the unknown.

“Sometimes I think I’m destined to relive the tragedy,” she says.

Father gave her coronavirus: he died while she was sick

Tracy Alvino thought that things are going well, when they brought his father from the hospital in new York, where he had surgery on the neck, in a nursing home. She didn’t know that 76-year-old man already infected with the coronavirus. The virus spread through her house like wildfire, infecting Tracy, her mother, brother and boyfriend. Two days later Daniel Alvino was so ill that he had to urgently send to the hospital.

Tracy struggled with the virus at home. Her temperature rose, she lost her taste and smell. The pain in her leg, which she broke many years ago, suddenly intensified. And still hurt armpits.

The hardest part was when the doctor asked her if she wanted to take dad off the respirator. The hospital staff said they can do nothing more for him to do. Because she was suffering from the same virus that killed him, Tracy decided to let go of his father. He died 4 days later.

It took 17 days to cremate Daniel Alvino, and another month to put him to the dust of the earth.

“I was crippled by fear”

Jackie Palmer is no longer choking from the pain in his chest. Instead, the 27-year-old resident of Houston faced new challenges: crying spells, insomnia and depression, which some days is hard to get out of bed.

Palmer spent 4 days in the hospital in March after Contracting coronavirus during a cruise to Mexico with family members. She recalls how the nurses wore protective gear from head to toe to bring her the cure. After returning home it took about 10 days to back pain and fatigue disappeared, but the television reports that patients die alone in hospital wards, drove her into depression, and her mind constantly questions why she survived? When she again starts to feel normal? What if the dark mood will never disappear?

She started to chat with a consultant online and joined a support group on Facebook. Plasma donation has also helped to improve her mood, though she could do them only once a month because of its weakened state.

Recently while at the supermarket, Palmer saw a woman without a mask, which collected the potatoes. It made the heart of Palmer hide.

“I went crazy,” she says.

Palmer says that people need to understand that the battle with COVID-19 doesn’t end when the survivors leave the hospital.

“I am very strong, independent young woman, and I was crippled by fear,” she says.

“It’s like a dragon waiting to eat you alive”

For 11 days Alotta Patricia Cruz lying in bed in a field hospital located in Central Park in new York city for the treatment of patients with coronavirus. Cold air penetrated the tents scattered around the hospital, and thunder shook the air around him. From time to time she could hear other patients gasped and died.

“Shortness of breath, weakness, desperation, says 57-year-old Cruz, Recalling his experience in the temporary hospital. The spirit was just broken.”

Her condition eventually improved so much that she was moved to a nursing home for rehabilitation. There she met with her mother, 80-year-old Maria Alvarado, who also recovered from COVID-19. One day, when they sat together at the table, Alvarado fell to the floor with a heart attack. She survived, both returned to Astoria, new York, to continue the recovery.

Going outside, Cruz often takes a break, sitting down on the bench to catch my breath. She begins to cook and clean your house tasks that I thought before the pandemic. But the constant sharp back pain and right hand remind her that the virus has not retreated completely.

“It’s like a dragon waiting to eat you alive,’ she says about the virus. He will take everything he can”.

The fingers and toes, which will have to be amputated

Gregg Garfield uses a Walker to maintain balance. The top of his black fingers and twisted and soon they amputated. It is a constant reminder of the 31 day spent on the ventilator in the battle for your life against COVID-19.

54-year-old Garfield was “patient zero” in the Medical center Providence Saint Joseph in Burbank, California, near Los Angeles. He contracted the coronavirus during a ski trip with friends to Italy in February and was hospitalized on March 5, becoming the first patient with COVID-19.

During its 64-day stay in the hospital light Garfield 4 times refused, kidneys stopped working and the whole body broke out infection. The doctors gave him 1% chance of survival. His arms and legs felt so strong oxygen that irreversibly damaged: the doctors are going to amputate 8 fingers and 3 fingers on the right foot.

Despite the setbacks, Garfield says he was lucky that he was alive and surrounded by friends and family. His days now consist of early morning stretching, followed by physical therapy — squats against the wall, an exercise bike three days a week. One of its main goals: to return to the slopes.

“Today is the only day on which you can count on. Tomorrow you may not be here,” he says.

Injections of morphine for the pain

Curtis Jefferson thought that he recovers from coronavirus, when he felt a sharp, severe pain in the left side of the body. It was a new symptom. He had a fever, dry cough, headache, lack of taste. None of this caused him to go to the emergency room but the pain did.

It turned out that he developed a coronavirus pneumonia. He had to stay in the office for 6 days to get injections of morphine for the pain and antibiotics to fight the pneumonia. At the hospital, he saw “only a few nurses, a couple doctors, and they were covered from head to toe. They don’t come to me without need.”

After that, Jefferson was isolated in his basement, away from his wife and three teenage children. At night he slept fitfully. Climbing the stairs to the bathroom, he was out of breath 5 minutes. The man now recovered 99%, according to his confession, and returned to work in Washington, DC. He’s still not sure where and how to get the virus.

“I walk around your neighborhood and see people without masks, who talk to each other in the face, he says. In some States, people returned to the beaches, and the pace is increasing. What do we do? It’s crazy to me”.

Beat the disease and returned to work

Cliff Ropers for the first time in almost six weeks hugged his 7-year-old daughter. She clung to him and wept.

“Daddy, she said, — now we can play again!”

A few weeks earlier, Ropers did not participate in the party on the day of the birth of his daughter: he was in quarantine due to a positive test for the coronavirus. A nurse in the institution for elderly care near San Jose, California, 47-year-old Reperes quickly became infected, though started wearing a N95 mask as soon as the virus has been confirmed in the United States. At some point he and his wife were worried about the possible death and have revised their insurance policies.

He says he has recovered from the “Asian therapy”: his wife made Tinolang manok, Filipino chicken soup and ginger tea with honey. Three times a day, he breathed in the steam from boiling salt water.

After a 12-day quarantine of Ropers returned to work, where employees who have undergone COVID, was a private entrance. He feels weak and easily tired. But in the institution where more than 120 elderly patients are at risk, he tries to cheer yourself up. He turns his personal protective equipment suits — today, the astronaut, the next day a superhero.

“And it gives light to all,” he says.

He received a negative test result for coronavirus on may 11. County of Santa Clara, where he lives, requires two negative tests before residents will be able to declare themselves free from the coronavirus. He waits for results of the second test.

“Someone very large was sitting on my chest”

Four children Mary Pflum Peterson was not thrilled with the fact that their mother is sick, lying behind closed doors in the bedroom and is not able to play with them. But now that she’s on the mend, they like that the mother can’t raise your voice, to criticize them because even the slightest stress makes her breathless.

Pflum Peterson, 47-year-old writer living in new York, received a positive test result for coronavirus on March 21. She’s not sure how she got it or from whom. According to her, even if you are young, healthy and in good shape, the virus “shows you who’s boss”.

In Central Park she was running at a speed of 2-5 miles a day. Now it barely goes up four flights of stairs to the front door of his home in Manhattan. Long walks on the street, she said, lead to exhaustion. Her worst symptoms — complete loss of taste and smell, burning lungs and a feeling that someone “really big sitting on my chest” — are gone. But the fatigue persists.

Her 13-year-old son is still sick with coronavirus, struggling with high fever and painful headaches. He’s the only person in their family who has tested positive for the virus. She knows that he will not soon return to normal.

“Many of us want to look back, she says. And there is an understanding that the virus will be here for a while.”

“Nobody wants to be near you.”

Susan Owens was sitting in the waiting room of a hospital surrounded by a transparent divider, and intended for those who have tested positive for the coronavirus. People on the other side of the wall, avoiding her gaze. She felt as if her stamp of. Stunned, she cried.

Owens, a 55-year-old Bank employee who lives in a small village of Moultrie, GA. On 30 March she had a positive test result, followed by three consecutive days of fever and such severe dyspnea that “it seemed to me that the elephant sitting on my chest and compresses the breathing tube”.

Since then, she received a positive result for antibodies, but the test results for the virus is still positive. Because her job requires a negative test, the woman was not in the office on March 27.

Night, her feet burn like they are sunburned. She quickly loses breath, planting flowers on the street. But the hardest is the stigma.

“Nobody wants to be around you,” she says sadly.

Fourth time in the hospital

In his hospital room in Fairfax, Virginia, Donna Talla is watching TV to keep track of the number of deaths and to learn more about hydroxychloroquine. She suspects that the medication used to treat her COVID-19 weeks earlier, could give her side effects, including heart palpitations, which for the fourth time since March brought her to the hospital.

Talla twice received a positive result of the tests COVID-19. She suspected that he had contracted the virus during a visit to the store in March. She had back pain, then rash and headaches. Later came fever and chills. After she was unable to climb the stairs, the woman went to the emergency room.

When her health improved, she returned to work from home as a sales Director in a media company. After this she twice received a negative result of tests. Then she again went to the hospital, this time because of the heart. Only Donna was in the hospital 4 times.

“There are people who die in the hospital, she says. — I’m one of the lucky ones, and I don’t take it for granted.”

Soon she went home from the hospital — again.

An Easter miracle

His wife called it “the Easter miracle”. In the holiday Sunday, April 12, after an eight-day coma, caused by medication, Kevin RATEL woke up in a hospital bed. His face was streaming with tears when he saw his wife and three kids talking to him through the iPad.

5 days later, the doctors and nurses stood and applauded the man when he left the Regional medical center Orlando in Florida, where he received the injection of plasma, which he believes, and won COVID-19 in his body. But for 52-year-old Racela the horror was just beginning.

He is trying to regain 25 pounds (11 kg), which he lost. To COVID it usually runs 4 miles a day, now he can pass the quarter mile because the tires quickly. He wakes up sweating in the night and quietly covers your side of the bed with the towel so his wife could sleep.

He can’t see, as before, can not keep in mind the information. When he forgets, then yells: “Cavigny brain!”

RATEL narrows his eyes to see the words on the pages of the book, and maintains a finger on the line. A man can’t even remember their favorite lines from the Bible, learned as a child…


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