WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Before Nov. of 2020, Mark Zurlis enjoyed a carefree life and worked as a carpenter making custom kitchens. He got married on Nov. 7.
“We had a 100-person wedding, everybody was fine. We went to Jamaica for a honeymoon completely fine got all our tests and stuff,” says Zurlis.
He then had Thanksgiving with just six members of his family bubble and got COVID-19.
“I was bad, I was really bad. I had a fever for almost the whole two weeks, chills, achy, my cough it felt like I broke all my ribs from my coughing,” he says.
“My blood pressure has been absolutely through the roof though since I got covid, I never had high blood pressure – (coughs) – Excuse me,” says Zurlis.
The fun, carefree days of being healthy seem like a very long time ago. Mark now has asthma. He tried returning to work but he had trouble breathing and pain in his lungs, and no strength. Plus he had to wear a respirator for his old job.
“My lungs have gotten progressively worse since then, they’re starting to get better since I started this pulmonary rehab it’s definitely been a godsend,” he says.
Zurlis has been undergoing respiratory therapy at Gaylord Specialty Healthcare.
“I think that his lungs will improve over time i don’t know if they’ll ever completely heal,” says Emily Woodward, a Gaylord respiratory therapist..
As a newlywed Mark finds his limitations frustrating, “I can cook dinner I can go to the grocery store beyond that I can’t do anything like construction projects.”
Therapists at Gaylord find themselves treating post-COVID-19 patients of all ages now.
“It really affects everyone and anyone so age is not discriminated against at all,” says Helen Young, a Gaylord respiratory therapist.