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He was an athlete in the best shape of his life. Then Covid-19 nearly killed him

June 30, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

It's been a little over two months since those touch-and-go days and Ahmad Ayyad still recovering. But he has a message -- for those who refuse to wear a mask during this pandemic, for those dismissive of public health guidance, for those in the prime of their health and feel invincible against coronavirus.

"I woke up and looked at my arms, my legs, and my muscles were gone," he said.

Ayyad is a coronavirus survivor.

One week, Ayyad was running his own restaurant and club in Washington, DC while working at his family's retail furniture business.

The majority of coronavirus patients who are placed on ventilators are placed in an induced coma as they are usually too uncomfortable to stay relaxed with a tube down their throat, which makes them feel like they can't breathe.

Ayyad became the hospital's third Covid-19 patient and the first to be placed on a ventilator, John Hopkins said.

While doctors remain unsure why the athlete was at more risk, especially with such good health and no preexisting conditions, "there could be factors" they still don't fully understand, Dr. Sandra Zaeh, who treated Ayyad in the hospital and continued to care for him after he returned home, said in a hospital news release.

"It was extremely emotional," Ayyad said.

Ayyad doesn't know for sure when or where he was exposed to the virus.

Every day, Ayyad tried something new.

He had a blood clot in his left arm, damage to his heart and lungs, and spent the next month struggling to do anything without losing his breath.

Ayyad is now almost back to normal.

Take care of yourself and the people around you," Ayyad said.

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