nydailynews.com nydailynews.com 27 Dec, 2020 10:45 am

What working with COVID survivors taught me

What working with COVID survivors taught me
New York City in April was equal parts warzone and ghost town. A city that had already endured so much in the past was confronted with unfathomable death, isolation and suffering. Amidst the horror of our COVID-19 outbreak and the near-constant wail of sirens, a glimmer of light started to appear.

I was deployed as the unit’s attending psychologist to guide patients emotionally through their rehabilitation.Jaywant is a clinical neuropsychologist, assistant professor of neuropsychology at Weill Cornell Medicine, and assistant attending psychologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.The disease and its necessary life-saving treatments had left these patients profoundly weak and often unable to feel their arms and legs, walk, speak, or swallow food.As patients left the unit, they thanked us profusely.

After weeks on the precipice of death, some severely ill COVID-19 patients were surviving.Yet what working with COVID-19 patients highlighted to me more than anything was the therapeutic value of being present and holding the totality of their emotional experience.

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