The 22-year-old woman says that she didn’t suffer any severe symptoms until a few weeks after testing positive for COVID-19. Unfortunately, one day she reportedly woke up and couldn’t eat anything without getting sick. She visited different doctors and got diagnosed with Post-COVID Viral Gastroparesis.
The 22-year-old woman from Ohio, Samantha Cercena, contracted COVID in Oct. 2020.
Samantha Cercena reportedly said: “One day I woke up and I couldn’t eat anything without getting sick. That was 15 months ago, and I have never been able to eat again.”
Cercena also said that she visited different doctors and got diagnosed with Post-COVID Viral Gastroparesis. According to the health officials, this condition affects the normal spontaneous movement of the muscles in the stomach, causing a patient to digest food at a much slower rate than someone without gastroparesis. The 22-year-old woman visited a specialist and says her new treatments completely changed her everyday life, according to the CW Columbus.
Samantha Cercena also said: “I got an N-J tube. It went up my nose, down my throat, down my stomach, passed my stomach and into my small intestine.
My TPN goes off at about 10 o’clock in the morning depending on when I set it up. Typically, that wakes me up. I run It for 12 hours so during the day I am not attached to it. Then around 10 p.m. I set up my TPN again. I take all my meds and get everything set up for the next day and do it all over again.”
Cercena said that her doctor, Dr. Michael Cline, specializes in gastroparesis. She also said that her case is very rare and her doctor reportedly told her that it’s probably the only one who has heard of it from COVID itself. He saw two or three cases of it in young girls like Cercena.
According to reports, over 80% of his patients with gastroparesis were between the ages of 17 and 35 and predominantly women.
Samantha Cercena also said: “My last really bad day was after another procedure to get a J-tube replaced. It was just a couple of weeks ago. I did not leave the bed or bathroom. You can see when I am having a bad day. I am white as a ghost, my lips are white, I have bad eye bags, it’s very obvious when I am not having a good day. But I do have more good days than bad.”
Cercena believes that, with a post-viral condition, most patients can end up fully recovering. Unfortunately, her doctors are not sure if she will be able to overcome it completely.
Samantha Cercena reportedly said: “Right now, everything is kind of an unknown which sucks but that is kind of the way it goes when you have a chronic illness. And, I really want people to understand that one day you could wake up and not be able to eat again or eat again normally.
I think we take the little things for granted so often and we don’t appreciate the people around us and our support systems. Everyone is so go-go-go and focused on the next thing, the next big professional thing. And sometimes we need to stop and smell the roses. You are not promised anything in life, so you need to appreciate it.”
Her biggest plan right now is to finish up the nursing program at Ohio University next year and to work in an emergency room. This story will be updated as new information become available.