A woman has been forced to use a wheelchair to get around for months after attending a Black Lives Matter protest.
24-year-old Nataly Najarro from Sun Valley, California, was left immobile after contracting coronavirus and developing severe symptoms as a result.
While the young woman took the pandemic seriously and reportedly always wore a face mask when outside, she felt the need to attend BLM protests following the unwarranted death of George Floyd back in May.
“I was very torn about keeping safe, but also needing to do something about the injustice that has gone on for so long. I ended up going to the protest and while I tried my hardest to take precautions, masks and sanitizing can only do so much with an airborne virus,” she explained.
Following the protest that took place on June 7, Nataly soon started experiencing panic attacks – something that allegedly never happened to her before. By June 27, she also developed symptoms such as cough, fever, and severe fatigue.
After her boyfriend rushed her to the hospital, the 24-year-old was diagnosed with Covid-19 along with her father who showed no symptoms.
Upon her return home, Nataly self-isolated only to start suffering from a high pulse and uncontrollable shaking. In August, as her condition had worsened, Nataly was hospitalized.
“My heart rate raced up to 180 beats per minute and they had to monitor me. They did a lot of tests and multiple doctors looked at me and they found nothing medical that they could say was wrong with me,” she added.
While the 24-year-old tested negative for Covid-19 weeks after her diagnosis, she was still suffering from fatigue and had to be rushed to the ER after collapsing and failing to get back on her feet.
“My neurological assessment came out that I have mild cognitive deficiencies due to my foggy brain and fatigue,” Nataly explained.
“I’m not able to do math easily, and it takes me a lot longer to problem solve compared to before.”
Due to her condition, Nataly moved back in with her parents who help watch over her as she is facing “long Covid” along with symptoms including anxiety, fatigue, joint pain, and breathlessness.
Despite being Covid-free for several months, the 24-year-old still relies on her wheelchair to get around since she is not able to stand or walk for long.
“I can’t drive for myself and I can’t be alone at home because if I fall and no one is there to help me. Going out in public is difficult because it can be embarrassing if I fall and start shaking in front of people,” she revealed.
“I need help going to the bathroom, to the shower, and even walking from room to room. I also need help with daily tasks like cooking and cleaning.
“My family has to fix their schedule around me and it really sucks. I have become a financial and caregiving burden.”
As Nataly said, she wanted to warn young people that they aren’t immune to the virus and the “terrible illness” that “sucks the life away from people.”
“We have young healthy people not able to work and provide an income. The future looks really scary right now, not just for me, but for the world,” the 24-year-old expressed.
“It’s not worth risking your life, youth, and freedom, having to be bound to a wheelchair like I am.”
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