COVID Survivor Encourages Friends to Get Vax

Helen Mendoza still has health issues from her bout with COVID-19 almost a year ago. “I have chronic daily issues with my lungs now,” said Mendoza, 46, of The Dalles.

She’s vaccinated, and has talked several others into getting the vaccine. “I know a lot of people that are anti-vax and they have too much misinformation and I’ve helped a couple of those people get over it and get their vaccination and that’s a wonderful thing to me.”

She apologized after a burst of coughing, saying, “That’s my COVID cough, and it makes my chest hurt when I cough. It gets worse too, to where I can’t catch my breath.”

Mendoza, 46, got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in March. She already has health issues including fibromyalgia, diabetes and arthritis, but since she had COVID, “the fatigue is much worse now. I used to stay up and go, go, go all day long and I can’t do that anymore. If I go walking through a store, by the time I’m halfway through the store, I can’t breathe.”

She’s now reliant on rescue inhalers and has them stashed everywhere. “Two nights ago I was having pass-out episodes where I couldn’t breathe.”

Even so, she’s grateful to be alive. “I lived through it when there’s lot of people who have not.”