A girl aged 12 from the US state of North Carolina has been suffering from long COVID-19 for over a year and her mum is sharing her story to encourage people to get vaccinated.
Wednesday Lynch, 12, tested positive for COVID-19 last September (2020) and has since been struggling with its lingering symptoms.
Melissa Lynch, Wednesday’s mother, told WTVD: “It’s really disheartening. It really is because I know she’s tired of it, and she just wants to be normal again.”
Melissa added that before the infection, her daughter was an active, healthy young girl enjoying life like any other.
Now she has blood pressure issues and struggles with a variety of cognitive issues such as brain fog, confusion and memory loss.
The cognitive issues have impacted Wednesday’s school life as her ability to concentrate and absorb new information has been compromised. She has now missed 16 days of school due to the illness.
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states: “Most people with COVID-19 get better within weeks of illness, some people experience post-COVID conditions.
“Post-COVID conditions are a wide range of new, returning, or ongoing health problems people can experience four or more weeks after first being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.”
Understanding of the condition is still limited and the CDC says: “Experts around the world are working to learn more about short- and long-term health effects associated with COVID-19, who gets them, and why.”
Wednesday lives in the city of Charlotte and visits the COVID Recovery Clinic at the University of North Carolina around once per month.
Dr John Baratta, the clinic’s founder and co-director, said that Wednesday is the youngest patient at the clinic and suffers fatigue, fevers, rashes, and seizures.
The clinic was first intended to treat adults suffering from long COVID-19, as it was believed that they are more susceptible.
Dr Baratta said: “I am concerned that there could be a new wave in the coming months of people who have lingering effects from COVID-19, specifically the Delta wave.”
He encourages all eligible adults and children to get vaccinated.
Melissa volunteers at the ‘Long COVID Kids’ outreach group where they help parents dealing with children suffering from long COVID.
She said: “We cannot beat this pandemic with vaccination alone. Masks and other pandemic mitigations have to go with it.”
The CDC states on its website that as of July 2021, long COVID can be considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).