Survivors of COVID-19: Even as patients recover, emotional scars linger. ‘It was life-altering’


CHICAGO — As COVID-19 sickens thousands in Illinois, several Chicago-area survivors shared the stories of their illness and recovery, describing how the highly contagious new virus has altered their lives as well as the world around them.

Although their experiences and the severity of their symptoms vary, all of the recovering patients cautioned against minimizing or underestimating the threat of the pandemic.

“I hope this makes it more real and people take social distancing seriously,” said one recuperating patient. “Because you don’t want to have this.”


Through sweat-soaked and feverish nights, the expectant mother would sing to her unborn baby.

Katina Theodorou of southwest suburban Stickney was just past her first trimester when diagnosed with coronavirus in late March.

“I literally felt like I would die,” she said. “I couldn’t breathe. I had shortness of breath. I would be sweating and have the chills and then I would be soaked; my clothes were like I had just come out of the shower.”

She recalled fervently praying, unsure how the new virus might impact her pregnancy. She was constantly on guard for cramping or spotting. Her obstetrician called to check in daily — “because of the unknown,” she said. “There’s not a lot of documentation of pregnant women who have it.”

After learning she had the virus, Theodorou isolated herself in her room at home, unable to hold her 20-month-old son until Saturday.... (Read more)

Submitted 55 days ago

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