Living with an autoimmune disease in the world of COVID-19

The student in this article has not been identified at her request.


Victoria Loredan, News Editor

The plot of the 2017 movie Everything Everything, a film about a girl who cannot leave her house because of her illness, has become a reality for a 9th grader at Wellington High school.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in late 2019, the whole world has been on lockdown and advised to quarantine. However, for this Wellington High School Freshman, she must take extra precautions because she has an autoimmune disease.

She has sickle cell anemia, which is when the red blood cells in a person’s body are deformed and almost shaped like a crescent. This can have very damaging effects causing strokes, heart attacks, seizures, blood clots, and even lead to death.

She has been living every day as a normal teenager with the addition of taking many medications to prevent blood clots and seizures.

“Of course, I sometimes worry about my health,” she says. “But I live day by day and just live my life.”

She takes extra precautions such as washing her hands, wearing a mask, taking multiple showers, and sanitizing the box and product when she receives a product from the store.

Mentally, the quarantine has been reminding the student of the two years she lived in a hospital.

“I could barely keep up with the kids and I was in a hospital for around two years before I ever got to see outside again, like I had a window but it wasn’t the prettiest of views.”

Physically, she easily gets weak because of the number of meds she’s taking.

“I could never really enjoy my childhood. My mom told me when I was a baby I got strokes.”

The student is using this time to build up their strength so she can walk and move with ease when quarantine is over.

Sadly, after four years of being free of the disease, it has come back. Luckily only the traits have returned so it’s not as severe as it used to be.

The student refuses to go through another bone marrow transplant because, “my mom was my donor and the pain she went through after the procedure was a lot. My sister’s mental health was affected because she couldn’t be there with me and she still had school and my mom couldn’t really take care of her cause she was too busy with me.”

The student has other medical issues such as asthma and an allergy to blueberries but that is not affecting her life during the quarantine.

Overall she is just going insane over the quarantine waiting for it to be over.

She says, “after this is all over, I’m definitely gonna try and convince my friends to go out.”