29-year-old COVID-19 survivor shares 'terrible' experience with virus to help inform others

She still experiences symptoms 8 months later
Covid survivor
Posted at 4:47 PM, Aug 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-18 18:31:09-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Bridget Egan is shaken up by her experience battling COVID-19.

"Terrible and scary, frightening," Egan said. "I think it's concerning when you see concern on a doctor's face because they aren't exactly sure what your body went through or what you have."

Egan, 29, said there were times she was scared she would go to sleep and not wake up. She caught the virus back in January.

"From there things just started to go downhill," Egan said. "I had for the first three days a fever of 102 or 103. I was in my house alone. I was struggling even to breathe, to be able to drink water, fluids. I was barely able to eat."

Everyone asked her if she lost her sense of taste or smell, Egan said, but her symptoms went further than that.

"I had issues seeing clearly. I was getting text messages from my parents and family and I couldn't read them one of the nights," Egan said. "I had issues with smell, taste, cognition. I couldn't remember if I had taken certain medicines or not."

She lost feeling in her leg and arm one night and didn't know what to do.

Egan wrote out a long list of symptoms for her doctor to look at. She's still experiencing a number of symptoms on that list, including chest congestion, muscle tightness, fatigue, higher pulse, gastrointestinal issues and acid reflux.

Egan has to explain to people that she was in optimal health before getting COVID-19. Egan was working out almost daily and weight lifting.

"If people think this is going to hit them, if they by chance get it, that they'll just have a cold or a headache, if you're not vaccinated there's no telling what it could do to your body," Egan said.

Doctors are giving the same warnings:

"The spread is largely in younger people," Herb Kuhn with the Missouri Hospital Association said. "You go through these ICU units and unlike last winter where you saw mostly elderly folks, now you're seeing people age 18, 20, 25, 30. Young people in these facilities."

Dr. Steve Stites with the University of Kansas Health System recently described the increase in COVID-19 cases as a wild fire.

"I said once before last fall that we were on fire, and I think we're on fire again," Stites said. "And I think the problem is that we don't have enough people vaccinated, and folks are not following the rules of infection, prevention and control."

That's why Egan urges everyone she knows to get vaccinated or at least consider it.

"We can't operate thinking if everyone else or other people take these steps that we'll be okay. It has to be all of us, we all have to do the hard work," Egan said.