Kelowna woman and family all diagnosed with COVID-19 virus

COVID survivor shares story

A Kelowna local whose entire family was diagnosed with COVID-19 in March is pleading with the public to take the pandemic more seriously. 

Mother-of-two Eden Standing has been working with doctors for four months to support her long-term recovery from the virus, which she believes her two-year-old daughter picked up from visiting a local playgroup. 

"They were saying if you don't have to go places, don't go places ... so we went home, we were just hanging out, not going to shops or anything ... literally 12 full days later my baby daughter Georgia woke up and she was just coughing her guts out and she had a fever and she was sick. Then the next day my son was sick too.

"At that point I figured it might be that, I'm not going to be negative but it might be that, so we stayed home and we did the quarantine." 

The 32-year-old remained in quarantine for two weeks along with her husband and two children, and it was during that time that she also got sick.

"I had what essentially felt like a six-day horrible hangover. I had a migraine, GI, throwing up and stuff. None of the symptoms were CDC classic COVID. None of them. The cough was the last thing to come."

Thinking she had fully recovered from her illness, Standing joined her family for a walk at Mill Creek where she ended up fainting down a ravine because she was struggling to breathe. 

Still not wanting to panic, she booked an appointment with her regular family doctor who immediately sent her to Urgent Care, where staff phoned her through a door to discuss her symptoms.

Standing says staff apologized repeatedly to her, as because she hadn't travelled internationally and wasn't a healthcare worker, she was unable to access a COVID-19 test.

Eventually she ended up in the ER with elevated blood pressure, where doctors confirmed she had COVID-19. 

"It sets off this intense panic that you're going to die, so that combined with the stress of not knowing financially what I’m going to do, childcare what I’m going to do, having doctors not being on the same page ... my doctors luckily are on the same page with me. They know I'm sick. They're running the tests. They're saying we see you’re sick, we see there's something wrong, you're not making it up, you’re not crazy. I am rare. Most people like me are being told "you’re just milking it, go back to work," and that’s not the case.

"It’s been really really stressful. I hardly sleep at all, and I think most people that are post-COVID hardly sleep at all."

At that point, Standing developed post-viral syndrome, an immune response to the viral infection in the body that has become common with recovering COVID-19 patients. 

"I think it's really important people know how far-reaching this is ... since March I have been suffering with debilitating exhaustion ... I can't work a job, I can't take care of my kids, and because nobody has any clear answers I don't have any support or availability in terms of finances, child-care, anything like that."

Standing says what she wants most right now is to see people wearing masks, respecting social distancing guidelines and avoiding unnecessary travel, so she can enjoy the Okanagan with her family in a safe way. 

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