Some COVID-19 survivors face long-term recovery, physically and mentally

Reporter: Veronica Marshall
Published: Updated:
Robert Hardy III

The ICU saves lives but it can also come with a cost.

When some patients leave intensive care, they’re also leaving skills and abilities behind that can sometimes take years to get back.

What does it mean for COVID-19 survivors?

There are long lines at the CenturyLink Sports Complex testing site as people wait and wonder, are they positive for COVID-19? While they’ll have the answer within an hour, the battle with the virus could linger much longer.

Just ask COVID-19 33-year-old survivor Robert Hardy III, “Was going down my steps at the apartment, walking past my truck. And the next thing I know, I woke up in the hospital with a tube in my mouth.”

Hardy ended up on a ventilator and in a coma for 16 days. When he woke up, he had no idea what had happened and no idea what would lay ahead.

He added, “Physical therapy came into the room and got me out of the bed.”

Critical care physician at Regenstrief Institute, Indiana University, Dr. Babar Khan says after patients get discharged, physical symptoms may take months or longer to improve, “It can be up to a year up to two years before certain ICH survivors really can go back to their functioning that they were doing before.”

Dr. Alex Daneshman with Lee Health explains, sometimes, it isn’t just the patients’ bodies that need extra time to heal, “After someone who has been very, very sick, the road to recovery requires not just the physical and health recovery, but also mental recovery.”

Hardy admits, sometimes he get frustrated because, “you know, before this situation, I was healthy, having fun with my kids and doing everything I wanted to do.”

But he is thankful to be here.

753 rapid tests and 34 PCR tests were conducted at the CenturyLink testing site in Lee County Wednesday.

Site leaders say there is no limit on how many rapid tests can be administered per day, but if they run out, people will be given PCR or antigen tests instead.

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