The headache and tiredness were too strong for a normal work Wednesday. All that the 34-year-old from Virginia, Michely Spricigo, least expected, was that in 16 days, the mild symptoms would boil down to a connection with the following sentence said by the doctor to her husband: his wife just passed away. The administrator survived Covid-19, the most feared virus of the last year by the world population, after 22 days in the Bethesda Hospital, in Joinville.
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After contracting coronavirus, Michely moved from the workbench where she served her clients in her variety store, to an ICU bed, connected to cables, unable to talk, barely breathing. Not knowing when – or if – he would see his little boy, just three years old, again; if she would have the opportunity to give her husband a kiss full of nostalgia at least one more time in her life. That tight hug on friends and family seemed to be a long way off.
The days that followed after the onset of symptoms, on July 29, 2020, became increasingly difficult. Body pain, fever, tiredness, shortness of breath. Strange for such an active person, young and without comorbidities.
With the lack of tests that the city faced at that time, the doctor decided to medicate it previously. And so she spent the week at home taking her medications. Only after eight days, when the treatment was over, Michely completely worsened.
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She was rushed to the East Emergency Room and the radiographic examination showed lung involvement. It was only on that day that she discovered she had coronavirus, from the PCR exam, and needed to be hospitalized. The city no longer had beds and only two days later did she get a place at Bethesda Hospital, in Joinville.
The days were long for Michely. With 80% of the lungs compromised, breathing was almost nonexistent without the help of oxygen. Inspiration did not fill the chest. In my mind, I still had a concern for family members.
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– I was afraid to die. I only thought about my son. I had never stayed away from him. It was what I was most afraid of: leaving him. In addition, two days before I was admitted, I had lost my grandmother to coronavirus. The family was already feeling the pain of the loss – complete.
The last message
Michely sought to communicate with family members, especially with her husband, through cell phone messages. At night, he made video calls to ease his son’s longing, even though he had a hard time talking. But on August 14, Michely didn’t send any more messages. The family went into despair. Shortly after, the doctor called:
– Your wife just passed away. We managed to restore it, but now it’s up to her. We have nothing else to do – said the doctor on the phone to her husband.
Joinvilense had a cardiopulmonary arrest and, after a lot of work, the medical team managed to get her back. She spent another eight days in an induced and intubated coma.
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– I blacked out. I just remember the doctor’s face saying that he wanted to help me, that I was supposed to be calm – he remembers.
Second chance for a fresh start
After eight days, Michely woke up with no idea that she had been unconscious all this time. When she found out, added to the common mental confusion in patients who wake up from a coma, she went into despair again and needed to be sedated. Within a few hours, Michely woke up little by little, supported by the hospital staff.
– I believe it was a miracle. Not even the doctors believed that I would return lucid, talking. They asked if I remembered anything, but I didn’t remember anything – he adds.
The hospital discharge came after 19 days of hospitalization, on August 27 – almost a month after the first headache. Before leaving the unit, Michely had to relearn how to eat, talk, walk and do basic everyday things.
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During another routine day at the hospital, nurses prepare Michely for the physiotherapy session. Only this time, a beautiful surprise organized by the team awaited her outside: Michely was able to have the long-awaited reunion with the family that awaited her. The kiss full of longing on her husband could happen, the hug on friends and family too and the son’s lap finally returned home.
– Today I am grateful to God for the simple fact of breathing. I started to give value to very small things that I didn’t give before, to be more tolerant, to understand people more. Regardless of religious belief, faith gives a new spirit to those who seek this cure and a new goal in life – he added.
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