Emma F.

16 years old - Tennessee

In February of 2020, Emma began to experience a cough, body aches, headaches, and a

sore throat; all signs pointing to COVID-19 infection. Though she recovered after a long month and a half, she battled severe fatigue, headaches, brain fog, sore throats, and anxiety for the remainder of the summer, accompanied with back, neck, and shoulder pain. In September, lab work concluded that she was Vitamin D and Iron deficient- issues she had never previously had.

On October 30, 2020, Emma was tested for COVID, and was positive for what she believes is the second time. She experienced brain fog, severe chest pain, loss of taste and smell, and was frequently out of breath. Since then, Emma has visited the ER twice, with inflammation being the only finding.

A visit to the pulmonologist, ENT, and endocrinologist later, all the blood work and X-rays she endured came back seemingly "normal". Prior to this, Emma had rarely visited the doctor, as she had been perfectly healthy before her two COVID infections.

Currently, over a year post initial-illness, she still struggles with weakness, extreme fatigue, brain fog, chest pains, trouble sleeping, random stomach pains, inflammation, occasional headaches, body aches, sinus pressure..... and the list continues.

On top of this, Emma struggles with an invisible symptom that is unfortunately common amongst those with chronic illnesses: extreme sadness and anxiety. After 13 months of not being able to function like a normal teen, it's only natural to feel as though there's little hope for your condition.

Emma choses to remain positive, and feels that hearing from others enduring the same thing helps her to feel better understood and gives her hope for improvement. She hopes her story can help others feel the same.