Local mother describes daughter’s long-lasting COVID-19 symptoms, pushes to help others

12-year-old still dealing with effects of COVID-19

DALLAS, N.C. (WBTV) - Wednesday Lynch, a 12-year-old from Gaston County, says she is still experiencing COVID-19 symptoms several months after first contracting the virus in the fall of 2020.

Lynch and her mother, Melissa Lynch, explained the challenges Wednesday has dealt with since first being diagnosed.

The elder Lynch said her daughter first contracted the virus in September of 2020.

Melissa Lynch said the initial symptoms were mild, noting that Wednesday lost her sense of smell and her energy level dropped, but that was the extent of the sickness.

The concerned mother said she thought her daughter had recovered by September 28, but a few days later on October 1, Wednesday was sick again.

“She was extremely hard to wake. She had lost her sense of smell again,” said Melissa Lynch. “Still no fever and no other symptoms, just extreme fatigue, some headache.”

What are the long-term effects of COVID-19?

The mother explained that her daughter’s symptoms appear to have come and gone multiple times over the last several months, adding that Wednesday has dealt with six rounds of fevers since initially contracting the virus.

“We’ve gone through a lot of extreme fatigue. At one point it was difficult to keep her awake during virtual classes,” said Melissa Lynch.

Wednesday Lynch said the symptoms have impacted her lifestyle.

She is a cheerleader and enjoys being active.

“I just wanna like go out and do a bunch of stuff and be active, but like it just feels like I can’t do anything cause my energy is just, I have no energy,” said the 12-year-old. “Every once in a while I have headaches and then I’ll just be tired.”

WBTV anchor Jamie Boll spoke with Dr. Megan Donnelly, head of women’s neurology and the headache center at Novant Health, in a recent Zoom interview. Donnelly explained which COVID-19 patients are experiencing long-term symptoms.

“Interestingly, it doesn’t discriminate and even more-so the patients who have milder disease appear to be more likely to end up with ‘long hauler syndrome’, so patients who have severe disease form and end up in the hospital because of their COVID are not the patients who end up with ‘Long COVID Syndrome’,” said Donnelly.

The doctor also spoke about why some people are still feeling the effects of COVID-19 months after initially contracting the virus.

“The thought is that it’s probably a result of not the disease itself, the virus is gone at that point, but somebody’s immune system responding to it so these are people who have robust immune systems that are now going into overdrive to attack a virus that has now resolved,” said Donnelly.

Melissa Lynch said she has started working with Survivor Corps, a grassroots movement known for “connecting, supporting, educating, motivating and mobilizing COVID-19 survivors.”

“I just kind of wanted to say, ‘hey there is support, there’s somebody here to help’,” said the Gaston County mother.

Lynch said she is currently planning a blood and plasma drive that will happen at a farmer’s market near her home. Convalescent plasma has been key in treating some COVID patients.

The event is happening Saturday, April 3 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Barnyard Flea Markets on Dallas High Shoals Highway in Dallas.

For more information about the event, call 704-502-0458 or visit oneblood.org.

Melissa Lynch and her daughter both said they are eagerly awaiting the day when Wednesday is no longer experiencing ‘Long COVID’ symptoms.

“I just want to see her back to normal. I want her to feel good,” said Melissa Lynch.

Wednesday noted that she is ready to live her active life without interruptions.

“I hope it will go away soon because I just don’t want to deal with it anymore,” said the younger Lynch.

Donnelly said that medical professionals have started seeing ‘Long COVID’ patients eventually stop experiencing symptoms.

“We are seeing patients resolve. Not everybody is getting better, but a lot of people are and we’re still really in the woods at this point,” said Donnelly. “There’s a lot that we still don’t know and we’re providing supportive care at this point for patients who are experiencing ‘Long COVID’.

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