25 years old - Nijmegen, Netherlands
Before contracting COVID-19 in April 2020, Mara had no medical history. Her symptoms started with chills, muscle pain, and extreme fatigue. A few days after her initial infection, Mara developed a cough that made it very difficult for her to breathe, leaving her out of breath and physically depleted.
While sick, she lost a lot of weight, as she was too sick and too tired to eat or drink, occasionally needing help from her mom to hold her spoon without becoming exhausted. This was addressed by a dietician, who gave her a medical nutrition drink to help her gain some of her weight back.
After two and a half weeks of weathering this sickness, Mara ended up in the hospital, often questioning whether or not she would make it to the next day. She has not recovered since her visit to the hospital, and after 14 months, is still unable to do work. If she exerts herself too much, she finds herself with chest pain, shortness of breath, and diaphragm pain.
In addition to these symptoms, Mara experiences post-exertional malaise, as well as a multitude of others. She's seen many different specialists, and is now undergoing testing to ensure that her other organs are properly functioning.
Mara never thought her life would look so different because of this virus. She hopes that one day, her life will return to the way it was before COVID-19, and her resilience and positive mindset will help her through this difficult period.