Patricia Wilson is a Lacombe resident who is more at risk to complications from COVID-19. (Photo submitted)

Vulnerable Lacombe resident says COVID-19 ‘extremely scary’

Elderly residents and people with prior conditions at risk for severe cases of COVID-19

“If I catch it, I will be one of those statistics that die. My doctor and I have already discussed this.”

Patricia Wilson is a Lacombe resident is concerned about the the spread of COVID-19 and who was born with congenital condition called Ehlers Danlos Sydrome, which manifests in multiple ways due to the condition being in relation to the body’s connective tissue.

For Wilson, the condition has led to her having Mast Cell Activation Sydrome, which results in unforeseen and new allergic reactions. The latest reaction she is having stems from a shoulder joint replacement surgery on March 2, which has led to Wilson self-isolating since that day — except for necessities like groceries and pharmacy needs.

With Mast Cell Reaction, Wilson said COVID-19 can lead to several negative outcomes.

“For instance, with COVID-19 you get cold-like symptoms like coughing. I can give myself a hernia and have three-times over from coughing,” she said.

Another issue that can stem from Ehlers Danlos Sydrome that Wilson deals with is loose heart valves.

“My aorta is now also at moderate regurgitation. With that, I can have a dissection where the lining of my aorta can split — which can lead to death,” Wilson said.

Given her condition, Wilson said COVID-19 is “extremely scary” — especially when she is shopping for essential needs.

“I keep more than the required six feet and I will actually move over an isle to be by myself,” she said. “When I’m picking what items I want, I pick items up and wonder if someone has had it.”

Wilson said she hopes the community will listen to public health guidelines and not go out in groups, which she has seen in Lacombe.

“We are lucky in the Lacombe area to have kept it to two cases. For now,” she said.

Wilson said she is pleased in-school classes for K-12 were cancelled and said it is really important for people to wash their hands.

“I am terrible for touching my face but this is one of those things that makes you very, very aware of how often you do touch your face,” she said.

Wilson wants her community to come together and do and continue to practice social distancing and self-isolation if necessary.

“I really hope most people are doing it,” she said.

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