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The road to recovery after COVID-19

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The role of medical nutrition in Lydia’s COVID-19 recovery journey

My son told me “Mum, at a certain point I thought, what will happen to me if you die?” That’s something you never want to hear as a mother.

Lydia Schaap, Healthcare Assistant - Recovering from COVID-19

Watch Lydia’s story on her personal recovery journey following the effects of COVID-19

Lydia’s story

“When COVID-19 broke out, I felt that it was my duty as a Healthcare Assistant in a nursing home to care for others. But it wasn’t long before I became infected myself.

I woke up the morning after a double shift and immediately knew that something was wrong. I had a high fever at noon and by the evening I was bed-bound and breathless. When I saw my doctor that evening, it became clear that my condition was becoming more and more severe. I could see the concern in her face as she told me that she didn’t know what to do with me. I would have to be admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) if I was to have any chance of surviving - I had no choice.

Recovery journey

“It’s been three months since I was in hospital. I’m very gradually taking the necessary steps toward recovery after having been in a coma for nine days. When I awoke from the coma, my muscles were weak and wasted. Pretty quickly, the doctor prescribed me medical nutrition, that’s rich in proteins, which is a very important component when you’re bed ridden.”

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When I returned home, I took the medical nutrition less frequently and felt worse as a result. I realized going back to medical nutrition three times a day as I had in the hospital is just better; you need that for recovery.

Gradually, my strength is returning, and I’m feeling more able to deal with the day-to-day challenges that come with the process of recovery. In my opinion, medical nutrition is underestimated and should receive more attention.

I’m proud of the first few steps I’ve taken on the journey to recovery and I’m looking forward to returning to work. The future is unwritten, but I know that I will make the most of every day that I have.”

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Overcoming the physical impact of a long stay in intensive care

For many COVID-19 patients, the muscle loss experienced during their stay in ICU means that discharge from hospital is just the start of their recovery. Find out more about how the effects of a long stay in ICU can negatively impact both patients and healthcare resources.

Senior couple eating breakfast at home.

Nutricia supports independent research on COVID-19 recovery

Today, nutritional management of COVID-19 patients is based on existing knowledge on malnutrition. Nutricia is providing funding of €1 million to support clinician-led research initiatives, aiming to improve nutritional care for patients leaving hospital after severe COVID-19 infection.

Information on this page is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of a healthcare professional if you have any questions or concerns.