Patient with severe COVID case relates her ordeal

Written by on January 25, 2021

Patient with severe COVID case relates her ordeal

By Brittany Sweeney

January 25, 2021

Marci Lesko on Lehigh Valley Public Media’s show ‘Community Update on Coronavirus.’

Some people who contract the coronavirus experience no symptoms at all. For others, it’s life-threatening. Doctors say serious symptoms can linger for weeks — or months — in COVID-19 patients.

Listen to the story.

Marci Lesko is the Executive Vice President for United Way of the Lehigh Valley. She was released from the hospital six weeks ago after a severe battle with COVID-19.

The mother of two had been careful to follow coronavirus safety measures: she wore a mask, kept her social distance and washed her hands a lot. 

But, the day before Thanksgiving, she began to feel symptoms.

“A few days after that, my lips started turning blue, I started having shortness of breath and was admitted to the hospital with COVID pneumonia, and within a few hours, was in respiratory distress,” Lesko says.

Lesko was immediately put on oxygen. Her blood pressure spiked, and she had a very high fever. 

“Sweating in the bed, and fevers and really struggling to breathe, they were proning me. So me laying on my stomach and on my side. For just hours. I started giving my sister my passwords, sort of saying, you know, where some important documents are, but about day four things started turning around and then for the next six days, they were working on weaning me off the oxygen trying to build up my strength so that I could go home,” she says. 

Lesko was in isolation for 10 days before being released, and after she was discharged, still needed oxygen 24 hours a day. Six weeks later, she still needs the oxygen to sleep at night.

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