ONLY ON AP Italian doctor now a chronic patient
Gabriella Formenti had been working as a general practitioner in Italy for almost 40 years until she got COVID-19 at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 – and almost died.
She survived, but the disease took its toll on her.
A year later, she still needs rehabilitation therapy, and is suffering from chronic breathing problems and kidney failure, among other ailments.
Recovery took her a long time, and Formenti will likely not return to the way she used to be.
She can no longer carry out many of the physical activities she was required to do in her profession so she decided to retire.
Her patients didn’t leave her though, they still continue to check on her and help her.
One of them, a fellow doctor, likely saved her life.
It was about a year ago, at the very beginning of the pandemic in Italy, that Formenti started feeling exhausted and realised she had a high fever.
A couple of days later, she felt much better and thought she’d soon be back at work – but then she woke up and couldn’t breathe.
Her husband, a doctor too, checked her oxygen saturation.
Levels were very low so she called one of her patients and friend Gabriele Zanolini, the chief COVID-19 doctor at the Mellino Mellini hospital in Chiari.
Zanolini immediately told her to go to the emergency room, a decision which may have saved her life.
“I consider myself very lucky because I got out of intensive care alive,” Formenti says a year later.
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