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Johns Hopkins doctor shares experience as COVID-19 survivor

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Posted at 6:13 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 19:28:19-04

BALTIMORE — From provider, to patient and then back into the hospital, Johns Hopkins doctor Sapna Kudchadkar has a unique perspective about the impact of COVID-19.

"The last two months have gone by in a blur," said Kudchadkar.

In her 17 years at Johns Hopkins, none have been like 2020. In late March, the Pediatric ICU and Anesthesia Physician was a patient. She tested positive for COVID-19 and had to quarantine in one room in her Howard County home for two weeks.

"My family would bring food and leave it on a tray outside my room so it was 14 days of complete isolation, just contact via Zoom and Facetime," said Kudchadkar.

Her symptoms were more mild, but the feeling of isolation was overwhelming.

"By day 10, I was in a very dark place," said Kudchadkar.

She’s grateful to have made a full recovery, heading back Johns Hopkins. This time, working in the adult ICU with patients severely ill from the virus she just battled.

"What really kind of hit me was this sense of why me, 'Why was I so lucky and why did I have such a mild disease and was able to come out and just get back to my normal while these patients clearly have been severely impacted by the disease?," said Kudchadkar.

Now she’s driven to help as much as she can, working with patients while researching the long term impacts of the virus and she became a research subject herself.

"I actually have enrolled in several research studies and just donated convalescent plasma since that’s a potential therapy who weren’t as lucky as me who are very critically ill," said Kudchadkar.

As someone now involved from all sides, she hopes people continue taking the virus and prevention seriously.

"The impact on public health is so severe that what people are doing, social distancing, staying at home, those are the most important things we can continue to do," said Kudchadkar.

She said even with hospitalization numbers trending down across the state, medical providers are preparing for this to continue for a long time.