West Ashley woman creates online community while suffering from long COVID
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Carolyn Leckie contracted COVID-19 for the first time in May 2020. As the months went on after testing positive, she found herself in bed more and more.
“I didn’t know at the time that it was progressively getting worse,” Leckie said.
In September 2020, Leckie says she woke up paralyzed up to her chest. She was rushed to the hospital, where she stayed for six weeks.
She ended up catching COVID a total of four times.
She now suffers from long COVID, and a long list of health problems that go with it. From head to toe, she can’t feel any of her skin. She suffers from memory loss, and she isn’t able to walk. She spends her days in a hospital bed in her home and uses a wheelchair and walker to get around.
“There’s a certain walk that you’re, my legs jitter and jiggle and walk,” Leckie said. “There are days they are bricks, and there are days they are jelly.”
In addition to the physical struggles, mental health is also a constant battle.
“I thought PTSD was only for the military,” Leckie said. “I didn’t understand it, therefore I didn’t have it. But I do have it.”
Leckie has documented her health journey on her Tik Tok account, where she has created a community of almost 27,000 followers.
“When I have a bad day, I go on there and I vent, and they listen,” she said.
Leckie is not alone in her struggles. The CDC estimates that 13.3% of people who’ve had COVID-19 go on to experience post-COVID conditions one month or longer after infection.
“We are out here, but we need help,” Leckie said.
As she waits for more treatment, Leckie wants others to understand what it’s like losing your independence, and the frustration of constantly looking for answers.
“There are so many people out there suffering that have no idea its even long COVID,” Leckie said.
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