DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — The COVID-19 virus has transformed several lives but the lingering effects of the virus are changing lives for the worse for many people it had infected.
‘Long haulers’ are what health experts are calling those who still experience COVID-19 symptoms after recovering. Many of these long haulers, feel like they have flu-like symptoms, but discover it’s much worse than that.
“It knocks you out a couple of days, just like the flu but nothing worse,” former Dothan resident, Matt Sams said, who tested positive for COVID in December of 2019.
Changing his everyday life that’s gone on too long, he said.
“To be bed-bound like a 75-year-old like that is t it’s shocking on your body shocking on your brain because you can’t do what you want to do anymore, two years, I’m still going through it,” Sams said.
For the past two years, it’s made him hate life because of the harrowing after-effects.
“I wouldn’t want my worst enemy to go through this.”
He experiences constant headaches, blindness, and an irregular heart rate that causes sweating and shaking at random.
“I walk to the kitchen maybe put the kettle on then boom 134 and then you start shaking,” Sams said.
Extreme fatigue is one of the worst effects to hit him.
“When that fatigue comes even a simple thing like brushing your teeth, my arm goes ugh, I’ll get halfway through and it like gives out. It’s like I’m holding 50-pound weights brushing my teeth.”
He’s not the same person anymore. He’s only 46 but feels 86, according to Sams. Additionally, it’s taken a devastating toll on his wife, Ginger who has to watch him struggle with this every day.
“To watch my husband go from being such a strong man physically able to do and go and needing to literally help him come back into the bedroom because he’s about to fall out in the kitchen it’s just heartbreaking,” she said.
From a healthy man to needing four different medications a day to deal with his health issues and the lingering symptoms.
The Sams family is completely vaccinated now and is now urging people to get their vaccine.
“We just have to take it one day at a time, we just hope that others out there can see his story and his experience and our family is going through and realize that this isn’t worth it. Even if COVID doesn’t kill you it can still take away your livelihood,” Sams said.
Get vaccinated, their message to all residents while dealing with the harrowing effects of COVID-19.