Meet Robert who lives with a new kidney and is significantly affected after having contracted COVID-19.
Robert was 50 when he had a kidney transplant, as both of his kidneys were damaged. When the COVID-19 pandemic spread all over the world, Robert became very afraid of contracting COVID-19 due to his poor immune function and the uncertain impact of COVID-19. Due to this fear, Robert and his family dramatically changed their everyday lives and mainly stayed at home.
In the Spring of 2021, shortly before Robert’s planned second vaccination, he was hospitalized due to heart problems. Unfortunately, during this hospitalization, he was infected with COVID-19. After a few days with COVID-19, Robert’s condition worsened to plus 40 degrees of fever for 10 days. He was given antibiotics and pain medication to reduce the fever but the antibiotics did not work. Finally, his oxygen level dropped to 75%. The doctors feared for his life and planned to move him to the intensive care unit but there were no empty beds. Instead, he was placed on oxygen flow for the remainder of his hospitalization.
After being hospitalized for a month, Robert was finally able to come home. He continued to suffer from low oxygen levels, he had lost his ability to speak properly, and he could not work. For the first 3-4 months at home, he was merely surviving. He forgot words and had difficulties speaking. For the last 11 months, he has not been himself. He has also gained more than 15 kilos, as he has difficulties when walking due to low oxygen levels.
“Many people do not understand how big a problem it is for an immunocompromised patient like me to get COVID-19 – it makes me very angry.”
Robert finds it important to stay positive about the future. He hopes that within the next couple of months, he and his family will get back to their normal lives again.
“I would very much like to start working again, if my head and my ability to talk will ever feel better after having had COVID-19.”