22 years old - Vancouver, Washington
Ashley contracted COVID-19 in June of 2020. She went to Boise, Idaho to celebrate her 21st
birthday where she was exposed to the virus at a bar. She started to experience a slight wet cough every hour or so, but two days later, ended up in the emergency room with extreme shortness of breath and an incredibly high heart rate. In the ER, the physicians taking care of her took X-Rays of her lungs and deemed that they looked good enough, and sent her home. Throughout her two weeks of isolation in quarantine, Ashley was incredibly sick with severe body aches, weakness, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, brain fog, migraines, insomnia, chest pain, cough, high heart rate, body chills, and sweats. Accompanying this, she experienced GI issues including instances of vomiting and lost her taste and smell.
After two weeks spent in quarantine, Ashley was still symptomatic. On her first day out of the house again, she went on a walk and was still extremely fatigued, dealing with a handful of symptoms that her Doctors attributed to her body still recovering from the initial infection. During her walk, she had to stop after 5 minutes, as she was having severe difficulty catching her breath. She figured her body was reacting this way because she had been bedridden for two weeks prior.
As the weeks turned into months, she still experiences symptoms and new ones constantly arise. She began to experience extreme dizzy spells, tingling sensation throughout her body, numbness in her hands and toes, and anxiety and reactions to loud sounds and quick movements. Blood pools in her hands and feet, leaving Ashley in pain. She has episodes where she hyperventilates and her muscles will contract and seem to feel stuck. Her GI issues have worsened, and the list goes on and on.
Her doctors are unsure of what is going on with her body and haven’t yet presented her with
a treatment plan. After about 5 months of experiencing symptoms, Ashley was sent to pulmonary rehabilitation where she exercised in a group setting twice a week for 3 months. This attempt to get back to a sense of normalcy only set her back, and she experienced post-exertional malaise.
Since then, Ashley has suffered from involuntary tremors, and sees a neurologist for these. She experiences these when she walks, rests, and participates in everyday activities, such as driving and doing chores.
Now, at 15 months, she is mentally exhausted and has fallen into a severe depression. Her life has completely turned upside down since June of 2020. She feels as though she’s a 22 year old stuck in a 90 year old body.
Ashley sincerely hopes that her symptoms will begin to ameliorate soon, and that she can return to normal health within the next year.