- Eddie Case spent 20 days in a medically induced coma while recovering from the coronavirus in Arizona.
- When Case woke up, he didn’t know what had happened. “I really thought I had been involved in an accident,” he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
- Case’s muscles atrophied while he was in a coma, leaving him paralysed. He couldn’t speak at first, and had to learn how to stand, write, and walk again.
- Doctors still don’t know if some of the damage could be permanent. “The data is just not there,” Case said.
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After experiencing breathing trouble from the coronavirus, Eddie Case was put on a ventilator and then into a medically induced coma, where he remained for 20 days.
He and his wife, Anne Costa Case, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper their story on Wednesday. Spending nearly three weeks in a coma led Case’s muscles to atrophy, leaving him temporarily paralysed. It took him a couple of days to be able to speak, and he had relearn how to write, stand, and walk unassisted.
Though doctors couldn’t tell Case exactly why he was left paralysed, “The uniform idea is that COVID attacks the brain, and when mixed with the anesthesia and other drugs used to sedate me, your body will go into atrophy,” he told Cooper.
Case has been in physical therapy working to regain his mobility, but his endurance is not the same, and doctors don’t know if the damage could be permanent.
The couple thought they were infected with the coronavirus, but they had trouble getting tested because they hadn’t travelled nor been around anyone who had tested positive.
“When he started reporting the shortness of breath, we decided that’s it, we need to go to the ER,” Costa Case told CNN.
After being diagnosed with the coronavirus, Case was transferred to another hospital in Arizona, where he was put on a ventilator. He was then transferred to a hospital in Chandler, Arizona, where he woke up from the coma.
The coronavirus sent Arizona resident Eddie Case into a medically induced coma, he says. When he woke up, he couldn't move.
— CNN (@CNN) July 16, 2020
Costa Case wasn’t able to visit her husband in the hospital, but she asked nurses to play him his favourite jazz music.
When she was finally able to see him again, he had lost so much weight he was unrecognizable.
“It was probably the most emotional day of my life. Not being able to see him for almost five weeks, and there he was. And I just kept staring at him because he looked like a different person,” she told CNN.
Though Case is mostly recovered, he doesn’t know if he will ever be the same. “Most medical professionals do not know what the outcome will be. This is going to take some time, that data is just not there,” he told CNN.
Complications from the coronavirus go beyond the lungs. A new study published in the journal Brain showed that COVID-19 is linked to neurological problems and brain damage, Business Insider’s Aylin Woodward reported.