Cynthia contracted COVID-19 in March of 2020. Unfortunately, her suffering intensified when she transitioned into a severe case of long COVID that led to multiple emergency room visits and hospital stays and left her permanently disabled. During her attempts to receive medical care for her long COVID symptoms, Cynthia experienced medical racism from emergency room staff. But she did not give up. Instead, she began to fight.
Cynthia became a dedicated health advocate and is committed to helping others with long COVID receive the care they desperately need. She also became a champion of the COVID-19 Long Haulers Act and spoke alongside the bill's sponsors, Representative Don Byer and Representative Jack Bergman.
Congressman James Clyburn recently invited Cynthia to give her sworn testimony on her experience with COVID-19 and medical racism before the House of Representatives Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis. Below are excerpts from her testimony.
"Before I got sick … I was a multitasking super mom and entrepreneur, I ran two businesses, volunteered at my church and multiple charities while home-schooling my young son. Unfortunately, I can no longer serve or work in the capacity I used to, because from time to time, my body becomes overwhelmed with nausea, dizziness, intermittent paralysis, crippling joint pain, and unexpectedly high heart rate ...
I was unexpectedly thrust into advocacy stemming from a blatant racially biased incident in September of 2020. While being a wheelchair-dependent person at the time, I was threatened with arrest by emergency room hospital staff while seeking medical help for an episode of dangerously low oxygen and high heart rate. The same hospital had tested me for illicit drug use without my knowledge three times prior."
In subsequent hospital visits, Cynthia again experienced medical racism and was denied treatment for her symptoms. Cynthia and her 7-year-old son both continue to suffer from long COVID but refuse to give up hope.
CYNTHIA, Age 37