Mahmoud A. doing rehabilitation at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

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ABC 7: COVID-19 'long-haulers' work to regain basic skills, overcome 'brain fog' months after diagnosis

Posted By Megan Washburn

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ABC7 Chicago

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 It's known that COVID-19 can have long-term side effects for some survivors but new research suggests some of those effects can be devastating and even lead to death.

Chicago's Shirley Ryan Ability Lab created a COVID-19 rehabilitation unit in April. And as the number of cases rise in the area, so does the unit's number of patients getting therapy for the long-term effects of the virus.

"I have seen young adult, middle aged adults, older adults, those with pre-existing medical conditions and those who did not have pre-existing conditions who had severe COVID pneumonia infections and ended up in rehabilitation," said Dr. Leslie Rydberg, Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, COVID Rehabilitation Unit Director

Mahmoud Ajamia was among the so-called long-haul patients at the Ability Lab, a previously healthy suburban man who did long-distance bike rides and half marathons. He spent four weeks on a ventilator then months of rehab to regain basic skills.

"I've gone through difficult things but I think this is one of the most difficult experiences I have had in my life," said Ajamia.

Read the full story on ABC7 Chicago.

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