Long-term effects of COVID-19 have Emporia man fighting for his life

David Oliva
Posted at 1:38 PM, May 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-22 22:32:51-04

EMPORIA, Kan. — An Emporia, Kansas, man is fighting for his life in a Topeka hospital after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

Kimberlie Oliva said her husband David was diagnosed with coronavirus on May 4, and by May 10 he was put on a ventilator.

“I mean it’s going to be a long recovery time if he does make it," Oliva said.

For several days, Oliva said David had flu like symptoms that progressively worsened. She described her 45-year-old husband was healthy with no underlying health conditions.

“He didn’t even have a primary care doctor because he was never sick, just didn’t have a primary care doctor. He’s never missed any days at his work in 14 years," said April Schooley, a family friend.

Oliva said on Thursday that David received his first negative COVID-19 test.

While patients may test negative, doctors say the long-term effects the virus can have on the body can vary.

“Other long-term affects that we know, it can affect the heart, it can affect the kidneys, it can also affect the brain, some of that even nerve stuff that we know that people when they lose their sense of taste or smell is one of the symptoms that sometimes people will have," said Dr. Todd Shaffer, a physician at Truman Medical Center.

Oliva told 41 Action News that doctors at Stormont Vail Hospital gave her husband a 10% chance of survival.

Unable to see him in person, Oliva said the family has been sending cards and talking to him through Zoom, but wishes they could do more.

“He’s been taking care of me you know with my heart condition and now it’s like, he’s sick and I can’t even be with him. I kind of feel like I’m letting him down," said Oliva.

Due to Oliva's underlying health conditions, she's unable to work at this time. Schooley and Oliva created a fundraiser to help with living expenses and David's medical bills. The page also provides daily updates on David's condition.

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