(ETH) – As the coronavirus pandemic continues to grip America and the World, many survivors are sharing how the virus has impacted their lives and even left many different than before being infected. One survivor named Barbara Gould of Boulder, Colorado was the first to share her story with CBS Denver.
While wearing her oxygen, Gould expressed why she feels lucky to be alive. “I was in the hospital for 91 days. I was on a ventilator for 65 days… and I was on ECMO for 15 days of those 65 days,” she said, adding ECMO is like a life-support machine. She went on to say that she was hospitalized in early April, believing she got sick following a flight home from Atlanta before restrictions were put in place.
She expressed how a passenger sitting behind her was coughing through the entire flight. Gould stated that her husband was the first to get the virus and then she developed a cough. “After three days it became clear I wasn’t improving, and I had to be intubated,” Gould said. “My lungs felt like concrete.” She would eventually have to be airlifted to UCHealth where she was then placed on an ECMO machine where she didn’t think she would make it.
“My husband had to have my living will in front of him at all times,” she said. Gould describes how the virus has left a lasting impression on their health. She expressed how she was a healthy, active person before being infected, but now is struggling with scarred lungs, liver damage, weakened muscles, even significant hair loss.
Meanwhile, a new report from researchers is revealing that People recovering from COVID-19 may suffer significant brain function impacts, with the worst cases of the infection being linked to mental decline equivalent to the brain aging by 10 years.
According to Reuters revealed that a non-peer-reviewed study of more than 84,000 people, which was led by Adam Hampshire, where a doctor at Imperial College London, discovered that in some severe cases of coronavirus infection was linked to substantial cognitive deficits for months. “Our analyses … align with the view that there are chronic cognitive consequences of having COVID-19,” the researchers wrote in a report of their findings.
“People who had recovered, including those no longer reporting symptoms, exhibited significant cognitive deficits.” These cognitive tests measure how well the brain performs tasks – such as remembering words or joining dots on a puzzle. Such tests are widely used to assess brain performance in diseases like Alzheimer’s, and can also help doctors assess temporary brain impairments.