CORONAVIRUS

Nurse Advocates For Medical Workers Who Have Become ‘COVID Long Haulers’

Apr 22, 2021, 8:30 PM | Updated: Apr 23, 2021, 9:21 am

DRAPER, Utah – A Utah nurse has been raising awareness about the long-term impacts the past year has had on medical workers. Even though she has never tested positive for coronavirus, she said she considers herself a COVID-19 long hauler.

The first time you meet Rachael Evans, you can tell she loves her job.

“Being a nurse is something that gets in your blood,” she said.

Evans decided to become a nurse when her grandmother, who was dying of cancer from being a downwinder during nuclear testing, told her to take care of people.

“She said, ‘Rachael, I want you to be a nurse.’ I thought she was crazy, and the other thing she said was I want you to keep your apartment clean. And she got one of her wishes,” said Evans with a laugh.

It’s a career that took off for her.

She even became a traveling nurse helping people across the country. However, last year at a senior care facility in Georgia, Evans said she got sick.

“I did have all of the symptoms of COVID, but still tested negative,” she said.

It only got worse.

She had blood clotting issues, blood pressure concerns, difficulty speaking, and then neurological problems. As time went on, Evans said she started to deteriorate even more.

“I had GI issues that turned into respiratory issues. But then I started having seizures,” she said.

Evans said she lost her traveling nurse job because of it.

“I knew I would have to leave the bedside eventually because I was having shortness of breath with even moving,” she said.

Now, Evans is wondering if she’ll ever get her health back.

She was healthy and competed as a power weightlifter before she got sick.

“It’s hard because you’re scared and you don’t know what’s going on,” said Evans. “I just want to get better.”

Evans has another job lined up, which will eventually bring her health insurance so she can get the MRI and medical tests she needs to figure out what kind of treatment she needs.

“Unfortunately, I’m kind of at this stop,” said Evans. “So now I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”

In the meantime, she wants to raise awareness that there are a lot of nurses, like her, and others in the medical field who are now dealing with the long-term effects of helping COVID patients for the past year.

“We were called heroes for so long, and now that the crisis is kind of being controlled, we’ve kind of been left by the wayside and people are now forgetting about us,” said Evans. “We’ve fought and now that we’re sick, people kind of forget and we’re still struggling.”

Still, she’s keeping a great attitude about it all.

She feels having this perspective will only help her in the future.

“It makes me a better nurse,” she said. “I’m more understanding of patients who are going through this because it is frustrating.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus

...
Ashley Moser

Flu, COVID and RSV all trending down for the first time in months, says CDC

Major respiratory illnesses are all trending down for the first time since September, according to the CDC.
3 days ago
FILE PHOTO (Photo by Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images)...
Josh Ellis

Utah doctor, others charged with running COVID vaccine scheme, issuing fake records and giving fake shots

A Utah plastic surgeon, his medical corporation and three others have been charged after prosecutors say they issued fake COVID-19 vaccination record cards and injected minors with saline shots.
9 days ago
Dr. Angela Dunn, executive director of Salt Lake County Health Department, left, discusses schoolch...
Michael Houck

Salt Lake County ends its COVID-19 emergency status

After nearly three years, the Salt Lake County Health Department ended its COVID emergency status Tuesday. 
17 days ago
FILE: People line up in their cars as members of the Utah National Guard give COVID-19 swab tests a...
Eliza Pace

Gov. Cox, along with 24 other governors, call on President Biden to end Federal Public Health Emergency

Gov. Spencer Cox signed a letter with 24 other governors calling on President Joe Biden to end the federal public health emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic.
1 month ago
U.S. President Joe Biden welcomes guests to the East Room of the White House on December 14, 2022 i...
ZEKE MILLER, AP White House Correspondent

White House reveals winter COVID-19 plans, more free tests

The Biden administration is again making some free COVID-19 tests available to all U.S. households as it unveils its contingency plans for potential coronavirus surges this winter.
1 month ago
FILE - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference, Feb. 1, 2022, in Miami. Gov. DeSa...
FREIDA FRISARO, Associated Press

DeSantis seeks grand jury investigation of COVID-19 vaccines

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is asking the state’s Supreme Court to convene a grand jury to investigate “any and all wrongdoing” with respect to the COVID-19 vaccines.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Nurse Advocates For Medical Workers Who Have Become ‘COVID Long Haulers’