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Dealing with long lasting effects of COVID-19

Published: Nov. 24, 2020 at 6:44 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 24, 2020 at 6:57 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - When the COVID-19 pandemic started, we brought you a series of stories of people who succumbed to the virus, along with people who survived. A local woman who beat COVID-19 says the recovery process is long-lasting.

“Every time I go to a different specialist, they tell me I can’t believe I’m talking to you when they look at the report,” said coronavirus survivor Suzette Cowell.

Cowell is a COVID-19 survivor, but she’s dealing with long term side effects from the virus. She says her voice has changed and she has nerve pain.

“You have heart palpitations and hair loss,” said Cowell.

Cowell was hospitalized in March. She believes she contracted the virus while on a business trip in Washington, D.C.

“I called the COVID line and they told me to go to a hospital in Perrysburg. I went out there and they told me I tested negative. They gave me a Z Pak. The Z Pak is what took me down because the Z Pak by itself doesn’t work for COVID,” said Cowell.

She says the next morning she couldn’t walk and was rushed to Bay Park Hospital. Doctors put her on a ventilator.

“I almost died. I met the nurse who was going to pull the plug. She came in afterward and she said I just want to look you in your face,” said Cowell.

Cowell says the scar on her cheek from the ventilator is a reminder each day of how she almost lost her life. The disease hit her entire family and took her 92-year-old mother’s life.

“My mom had COVID and never left her apartment. She was in the hospital and they took very very good care of her but from COVID takes your appetite and that’s what happened,” said Cowell.

She says the virus doesn’t give people or families a choice.

“You don’t want to go where I’ve been. You really don’t want to go there. First of all, you might not be as lucky. Second, if a little mask can save your life what’s the problem? It can save your grandparents, your mother, your brother, your sister, what’s the problem,” Cowell said.

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