A woman in Chicago who last month became the first COVID-19 patient instead of undergoing a double lung transplant said she woke up a few days later, unaware of the operation and unable to ‘recognize my body’ .
Mayra Ramirez, 28, spoke to the media Thursday along with Brian Kuhns, 62, of Lake Zurich, Illinois, who followed him as the second American coronavirus patient to undergo the procedure.
Ramirez underwent surgery at the Northwest Memorial Hospital in Chicago on June 5 and did not wake up until a few weeks later.
“I was looking at myself and I could not recognize my body,” she told reporters. ‘I do not have the cognitive ability to process what was happening. All I knew was that I wanted water. ̵6;
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Mayra Ramirez, a COVID-19 survivor of a double lung transplant, spoke of her journey through the pandemic during her first press conference at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago on Thursday.
Prior to contracting the coronavirus, Ramirez, who has an autoimmune condition, said she was otherwise independent and relatively healthy.
Ramirez said she could not recognize her family members in the photos the hospital nurses had placed around her room.
“I was actually upset because I thought it was a different family,” she added.
Ramirez, who has an autoimmune condition, was intubated shortly after contracting the coronavirus in April.
She had gone to a three-mile runway just before she got sick and went to the hospital.
“I was told to hurry (and) change,” she said. ‘I was asked who would make my medical decisions for me. That’s when I told them it would be my mom and older sister who all live in North Carolina.
“I only have two minutes to contact them to let them know what was going on before I was intubated.”
Ramirez, who moved to agoikago from North Carolina to become a paralegal in 2014, says she is now slowly regaining her strength
Ramirez’s family launches GoFundMe campaign to raise money for her medical expenses
Dr Ankit Bharat, chief of thoracic surgery and surgical director of the Northwest Lung Medical Transplant Program, said Ramirez, who was on a ventilator, fought for her life for six weeks, with the virus completely destroying her lungs. her.
Doctors would call Nohemi Romero, her mother in North Carolina, for updates.
Ramirez, sitting next to her mother during a press conference at the hospital, said her family made the trip to agoikago with the intention of saying goodbye.
“Fortunately, after they arrived, my mother and my two sisters, the medical team was able to stabilize me,” Ramirez said.
“They explained the possibility of a lung transplant and my mother agreed with it. And then within 48 hours, I did a 10-hour lung transplant. ‘
Bharat is calling Ramirez’s operation a “historic milestone” in caring for patients with severe COVID-19.
Brian Kuhns (left photo Thursday) 62, from Lake Zurich, Illinois, followed Ramirez as the second American coronavirus patient to undergo the procedure
“Lung transplantation is not for every patient with COVID-19, but it offers some of the critically ill patients another chance of survival,” Bharat said. ‘Mayra and Brian are living proof of that.’
Ramirez said she is slowly regaining her strength, but says the burn has taken on a physical and mental number.
“Hardly hard to guess,” she said. ‘All the time I was in [ventilator] I have had many nightmares and it is difficult to distinguish reality versus those nightmares sometimes. ‘
Thoracic surgeon Dr Rafael Garza Castillon said Northwestern is now considering performing the procedure on other patients who have eliminated the virus and do not have any significant organ failure.
“We are all learning together and sharing best practices, and now lung transplantation is part of COVID-19 care,” Bharat said.
Ramirez, who is now at home, said he feels much better, although he is still working to rebuild its strength and endurance. She said she knows there is a family that grieves their boyfriend.
“Not just a few weeks later I had the ability, you know, to think to yourself that there is a family out there that grieves their boyfriend,” Ramirez said.
“I have this person’s lungs and how lucky I was to get him.”
Kuhns said he thought the virus was a joke until he contracted it.
“This disease is not a joke,” he said. ‘It hit me like a bullet in the head. I was completely healthy. This thing took me down a lot. ‘