SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A Springfield woman who caught COVID-19 in September 2020 is still experiencing symptoms in 2021.
Jessica Kyger said she wants to spread awareness for other patients who are also experiencing long term COVID-19 symptoms by sharing her story.
She looked all over the country to find a doctor who has seen patients like her but is still worried her symptoms might last many more months or even years.
“Of course, I’m so grateful to be alive, but at the same time, my quality of life has gone from being a healthy, energetic person to essentially being in bed,” said Kyger.
Kyger lived a healthy and active lifestyle until she caught COVID-19 four months ago.
“I walked 15 to 20 miles a week,” Kyger said.
She ended up going to the emergency room eight days later after body aches got worse, “my doctor essentially turned me away and just said. I’m sorry, we’ve seen people in your position before, but we just don’t know what to do,” Kyger said, “I was absolutely floored. At this point, I started losing my hair, handfuls of hair.”
She couldn’t even walk a fraction of what she used to, “a half-mile walk put me in bed,” Kyger said, “I was just baffled, like what is happening.”
And not two days later, “I felt terrible and had just gotten out of the hospital and was not recovering well, I was cleared to go back to work,” Kyger said.
She began to seek help from doctors around the country by herself.
“My biggest fear is that we don’t know what kind of damage is happening inside our bodies,” Kyger said, “if I didn’t have COVID attached to it, these symptoms would be taken very seriously.”
She eventually found help with doctors at the University of Chicago.
“My only diagnosis so far is chronic fatigue syndrome, it’s scary, there are no treatments for it, no cures for it,” Kyger said.
Doctors tell Kyger they have seen patients start to feel better after nine months.
“We’re talking some of the very first patients are just now starting to see some normalcy come back in their life,” Kyger explained.
She found a bit of peace knowing that there are others like herself.
“I haven’t been able to do anything for the past four months,” said Kyger. “They’ve seen it. I want to see that in Springfield. As much as the medical community came together to find a vaccine for a cure, I hope that that same medical community can come together to fight these post-COVID problems as well.”
Kyger said her husband and daughter also both caught COVID-19, but their symptoms were completely different from hers.
So she said there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to the virus.
Even after you survive, it can still completely change your life.