Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Stairs are a challenge for Carrie MacKay, the Langley woman who has been chronicling her battle with COVID-19 in a series of posts on her Facebook page.

MacKay shared a video to show the effort it takes her just to go downstairs.

“A lot of people think that once I go home, everything is totally back to normal,” MacKay told the Langley Advance Times in a Tuesday, Feb. 23 interview.

”It isn’t, though. I still get really winded, and struggle to breathe, if I move around or do stairs.”

She’s been told it could be another three months to a year before she has recovered.

“I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day and I can stand with the oxygen on for quite a bit longer,” she related.

“I’m improving more and more every day, building up my strength, (and) I’m starting to work on a few design projects from home on my laptop (but) it’ll still be a while before I can go back to my office in Fort Langley to work full time – the portable oxygen tanks will need to go with me there – and also, window painting might be a little bit longer, since I don’t know when I can climb ladders and load my car with tool boxes and supplies.”

MacKay is hoping to beat the odds so she can resume kayaking with her dog, as well as hiking, biking, by the summer.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Langley woman chronicles COVID-19 battle

Friends set up a GoFundMe page, “Helping Carrie Recover from Covid” to help with bills and food, which MacKay called “super awesome.”

People have been following her story across Canada and in the U.S., she discovered.

“People I don’t even know have messaged me on Facebook, messenger or Instagram,” MacKay described.

“A lot of them don’t know anyone with COVID and they had no idea the symptoms could be like this – and can’t believe what I went through… and they thank me for sharing. Some people have COVID and message me and ask what to do?

Her advice: “not to wait at home as long as I did when my fever was so high – and to go to the hospital if it gets really bad.”

For the physically active MacKay, 46, a graphic designer and artist who has no underlying health conditions and doesn’t smoke, her encounter with COVID began on Jan. 22, when she began to feel unwell.

Two days later, she was diagnosed with COVID-19, and by Jan, 29, she was admitted to Langley Memorial Hospital, then transferred a few days later to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Abbotsford Regional Hospital.

READ ALSO: Twelve days later: Langley City woman returns home after battle with COVID-19

In her Facebook postings, MacKay described the impact of the coronavirus, how at at times she was fighting to draw a full breath during her stay in the ICU, and finding it nearly impossible to sleep as a result.


Is there more to the story? Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

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