COMMACK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — As the pandemic persists, so do symptoms for some people who have experienced the coronavirus.
One Long Island teen was met with a new set of challenges months after getting COVID. Her family hoping sharing her story, will protect others.READ MORE: NYC Teacher, Principal Unions Warn Of School Staffing Shortages When Vaccine Mandate Takes Effect; De Blasio Says Substitutes Standing By
With her suture kit, at just 13 years old, Samantha Petraglia is already prepping for surgery.
“I want to be a pediatric trauma surgeon,” she told CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis.
But she never imagined being the patient.
“Being in the hospital with … two IVs in my arm, tube up my nose. That was, like, the worst part,” Samantha said.
Last March, she had COVID, a mild case, but five months later, she was hit with a new set of symptoms.
“Palpitations, dizziness and feeling faint a lot,” Samantha said.
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After seeing several doctors, she was diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, a condition that affects blood flow, known as POTS.
Experts say it can be triggered by a variety of conditions, including viral or bacterial infections.READ MORE: CDC Backs Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots For Millions Of Seniors And Some Others
“Something basically has to trigger it, and the only thing was COVID. Sami never had any of these symptoms prior to COVID,” Samantha’s mother Amy Petraglia said.
Samantha has been in and out of Cohen Children’s Medical Center with health issues and now uses a feeding tube.
“It’s really tough on her because she just wants to be a kid, and I just want her to be a kid,” Amy Petraglia said.
“Some of these long-haul type symptoms can really change your lifestyle and limit a person, including children, for weeks to months or even longer after what may even be just a mild illness with COVID-19,” said Dr. James Schneider, chief of pediatric critical care medicine at Cohen’s.
The medical center, for a period of time, is back to seeing kids with COVID daily.
“It’s definitely more prevalent now than it was only a few months ago,” Schneider said.
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According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, since the beginning of July, child COVID cases have steadily increased nationwide, with more than 121,000 cases added last week.
A recent weekly report found children represented 14.4% of all new COVID-19 cases nationwide.
“I would say that they should definitely be safe because they don’t wanna end up like anything like this,” Samantha said.MORE NEWS: 'I'm Going To Risk It:' CBS2 Finds Many Subway Riders Still Not Wearing Masks As MTA Starts Issuing Fines
Samantha says she’s grateful for her doctors, who inspire her to help others, and she’s well on her way by sharing her story.