‘It dictates your day’: Metro COVID-19 ‘long hauler’ encouraging others to take virus seriously


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After a long summer of experiencing debilitating COVID-19 symptoms, Debra Carter said she will finally become a patient at the Truman Medical Centers Long-Haulers clinic. She said the only thing she wants, is her old life back.

“It dictates your day, you want to get up and you want to keep that life that you had,” she said.

Debra was diagnosed with COVID-19 in early January, after exposure from a co-worker. She said she will never forget the call that changed her life.

“She called me and told me she tested positive for COVID. And she said, ‘you might want to go and get tested’.”

Days later, the symptoms followed. Carter began experiencing fatigue, loss of appetite, and nausea. She got tested, and the results were positive. She said those symptoms hasn’t stopped since.

Before COVID-19, Debra’s life was full of adventure, she worked as a hospice chaplain, and a spiritual life coach. One of her many passions was to keep a list of goals she wanted to achieve throughout the year.

But this year, the list remains mostly unfulfilled.

“I look at and I don’t even have the energy to do these things, my goal now is to walk around the block without getting dizzy,” she said.

Dr. Paramdeep Baweja with Truman Medical Centers said Debra is not alone.

“This can get really frustrating  for a lot of people,” he said. “Studies are showing that anywhere between 40-50% of patients don’t see recovery in 1-2 months.”

Carter said as the bills pile up, the money is running out, as she can no longer work. Debra’s family is now stepping her to help pay for essentials like utilities and food.

As she inches closer to the old Debra, she has a message for those who don’t take the dangers of COVID-19 seriously.

“If you are not going to get vaccinated, wear your mask. It’s just for the good of all people, you have to take yourself out of this,” she said.

But for now, she can only fight for herself until she can get back to helping others.

“I can’t wait to get back to my life, But we are taking it one day at a time,” she said.

If you would like to donate to Debra’s GoFundMe, click here.


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