Treva Taylor, a Brooklyn resident and former hospital administrator, was on the front lines of the pandemic when COVID-19 sent her to the intensive care unit (ICU) for six weeks—she had been scheduled to get her vaccination the day after. Taylor was in critical condition and had damage to her lungs and other organs, but she survived. That was two years ago, and she still lives with lasting consequences.
Since then, Taylor, age 56, has been receiving support from physicians and nurses at NYU Langone’s Post-COVID Care Program, alongside her pulmonary rehab team at Rusk Rehabilitation at NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn.
Many people recover completely from the disease. But some people have persistent COVID-19 symptoms or develop new health problems in the weeks or months after contracting the virus. This can happen even if they had only mild symptoms initially or showed no signs of infection. This condition is commonly referred to as “long COVID” or “long-haul COVID.”
After leaving the ICU, Taylor continued to have breathing and cognitive issues, which would sometimes require visits to the emergency department. She needs to carry oxygen with her wherever she goes, and has numerous doctor’s appointments every week to monitor her and assist with her recovery.
“I am so thankful for my pulmonary team and rehab team, because they take me seriously,” said Taylor, noting how they have helped her better manage her symptoms and find relief where she can.
Taylor continues to advocate for others and has testified about her struggle for Social Security to get disability benefits for people with long COVID.
“Treva’s case is exceptional, and unlike most of the patients we see at our clinic,” said Rany Condos, MD, a pulmonologist and director of the Post-COVID Care Program. “Many of the people we see are suffering from more-acute symptoms, but it is still crucial for these people to be provided care, and to be treated like their struggle is valid.”
During her appointments with Dr. Condos, Taylor works to strengthen her breathing and has her progress and vitals monitored using sophisticated diagnostic tools.
In addition to other doctor appointments, Taylor goes to pulmonary therapy sessions every week with her Rusk Rehabilitation team. A team of physical therapists and her doctor, Jeffrey S. Fine, MD, chief of the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service at NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn, help Taylor build up her endurance. The goal is to have her retain the ability to engage in her day-to-day activities.
“Some days are better, and other days there are going to be struggles,” said Dr. Fine. “What’s important is that she comes in every week and doesn’t quit because that’s the only way to see any progress.”
Experts at the Post-COVID Care Program provide comprehensive evaluation and treatment for people experiencing long-term symptoms or other lasting health impacts after COVID-19 infection. They evaluate and treat people ages 18 and older who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or related health problems that last at least 4 weeks after the initial infection.
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