Meet Eliana: 2022 Family Advocacy Day Champion
Eliana is participating in Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day from June 12-14. Through this event, Eliana and her family will discuss her health journey, UH Rainbow Babies & Children Hospital’s role in providing her with necessary health care services, and why the public and our elected officials must invest in the future of patients like Eliana.
In December 2020, 14-year-old Eliana and her family contracted COVID-19. Eliana had minor symptoms but seemed to recover. However, 10 months later in October 2021, her COVID symptoms reoccurred - and this time were severe. Eliana was taken by ambulance to the emergency department—first to University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center, then to UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, where she was hospitalized for 8 days.
Too weak to walk, Eliana had to use a wheelchair to get around. She also needed assistance standing, bathing and getting dressed. The hospital stay was tough on Eliana and her family emotionally, physically and financially.
“Our insurance has covered a great majority of the medical costs,” says Jessica, Eliana’s mother. “However, it has also left us with the burden of thousands of dollars of out-of-pocket expenses that we need to pay and are unable to keep up with.”
Recovery was slow and Eliana still suffers from extended COVID-19 symptoms—long-COVID and COVID-19-related postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) which includes brain fog, increased heart rate and severe chronic fatigue.
“UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital has been instrumental in Eliana’s recovery,” says Jessica. “She made great progress while in the hospital and continues to improve with outpatient physical and aquatic therapy sessions along with her at-home exercises.”
Eliana is regaining her strength and no longer needs the wheelchair, walker or cane. She is currently re-learning how to jump, skip and run. She has many outpatient appointments and sees five specialists including mental health counseling – her illness has kept her away from school, band practice and friends.