By writer to www.tmj4.com
MILWAUKEE — Carmen Lerma is well-known in Milwaukee for doing no matter she will to assist anybody going by way of exhausting instances. Lerma is a director at UMOS, United Migrant Alternative Companies, and is lively within the Latino neighborhood.
Now, Lerma is within the struggle of her life.
She spoke with us from her hospital room at UW Well being in Madison.
“Forgive me, as a result of I’m a bit in need of breath right this moment, and a bit drained,” Lerma stated.
Regardless of the fatigue, she needs to share her story to teach others.
On July 13, she acquired a name from the well being division that she was uncovered to somebody who examined optimistic for COVID-19. Three days later, she was admitted to Ascension St. Francis. She went on to spend 45 days in intensive care. Blisters on her face, from the ventilator, are nonetheless therapeutic. However, miraculously, she beat the virus.
That was just the start. The virus did irreversible injury to her lungs. Carmen doesn’t have any underlying medical circumstances, and has by no means been a smoker. Regardless of that, on the age of 52, she now wants a double lung transplant as quickly as attainable. Her docs affirm it’s due to the toll COVID-19 took on her physique.
“That was a tough capsule to swallow, as a result of I am like, ‘Wait, what? What do you imply?’ And so they stated, ‘your lungs will not be going to get any higher except we do that.’”
She was transferred to UW Well being in Madison, the place she’s going to stay till she will get the transplant. She is attached to oxygen, and struggles to stroll greater than 500 toes with out operating out of breath.
She’s now been in a hospital setting, with no guests allowed, for 3 months. The help she’s receiving from her household and mates is what retains her going. They’ve raised greater than $25,000 to assist together with her medical payments.
“Boy, was I overwhelmed in taking a look at the whole lot they’re doing for me,” Lerma stated. “It is priceless. I’ll always remember this.”
Medical doctors can’t say when the lung transplant will occur. It might be weeks or months. Carmen is on the organ donation checklist. She could have a protracted street to restoration, and her life might be completely different going ahead, however her focus, in any case she’s been by way of, is just that – to reside.
“I miss my household, however I get energy in pondering of them” Lerma stated. “I consider in staying optimistic. Even sitting right here on this mattress, each morning I believe to myself, these are my objectives for the day. I’m going to do all of them. Even when they’re simply child steps. Then, I pressure myself to smile as a result of that is the very best you are able to do to heal.”
— to www.tmj4.com