October 21, 2020
Deanna Hair and her husband Ken contracted COVID-19 in March, and she spent the next six months fighting for her life in a Michigan hospital.
The world is in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, a virus that is spreading quickly throughout the world. While some of the afflicted have only the mildest of symptoms, others, like Deanna Hair, come close to losing their lives.
The 67-year-old Michigan woman returned home to her family after spending a record and traumatic 196 days in the hospital recovering from COVID-19 and though she is on her way to recovery, she may be battling health issues for the rest of her life.
In March 2020 Deanna and her husband Ken had just returned to their home in Ann Arbour Michigan from a trip to California when they started feeling ill. They were tested for COVID-19 on March 31, and the result was positive for the virus.
While Ken's symptoms were mild, Deanna's included high fever, a cough, and vomiting. Three days after she was tested, Deanna was hospitalized with what her doctors described as "a dead gut," ischemic colitis.
Deanna still relies on a ventilator to breathe at night and needs a walker to move around
One of Deanna's doctors, Dr. Philip Choi, a pulmonologist at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbour explained that part of her colon had to be removed. He said:
“The condition is caused by reduced blood flow to the colon and for Deanna, the surgeons had to take out her colon."
The ischemic colitis, Dr. Choi believes, was caused by reduced blood flow to the gut caused by COVID-19, which causes blood clots. So even when COVID-19 itself, does not kill, it opens the door to other diseases.
But that wasn't the end of Deanna's troubles. She developed Deanna multiple infections in her chest and abdomen, followed by kidney failure, and was placed in a medically induced coma.
On three separate occasions, her family was advised to come and see her in the intensive care unit and say their goodbyes. Doctors believed Deanna would not survive, even though the COVID-19 virus was no longer present.
Deanna never gave up, and neither did her family. Her recovery was slow and painful, and she has gone through therapy, and even though she has been released, she still has a ways to go. Her husband Ken explained:
“Being sedated and bedridden for that long, you lose all of your muscle tone and you have to relearn basic human motions, even if it was just moving her face or just sitting up.”
Deanna still relies on a ventilator to breathe at night and needs a walker to move around, and though she hopes that she will slowly recover, there are no guarantees that she will be back to her old energetic self.
She credits her family's unconditional support for saving her life, and giving her strength to fight back. Deanna has appealed to people to not take COVID-19 lightly.
After all, Deanna is one of the lucky ones. Over 220,000 Americans have succumbed to the disease. For those who survive, like Deanna, there can be devastating, life-changing consequences.
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July 03, 2020