By Danni Lynn McDonald
COVID Long Haul Survivors
In March of 2020, Pastor Jae Williams, aka Jae the GospelKidd of WOVU 95.9, was admitted to the hospital after contracting COVID-19. His wife, Minister D. Williams, waited in her car talking to him on the phone until he was put on a ventilator. Jae went into a coma for 24 days, and his wife did not see him again for 54 days.
The Williamses did not know in March 2020 that there was going to be “a reversal on the sadness—a day to be happy.” On November 27, 2021, Jae stood on stage and raised his voice to the ceiling for the I Am a Survivor concert and service at the Pentecostal Church of Christ at 10515 Chester Avenue, Cleveland, OH.
This event raised awareness of resources available to “long haul” survivors experiencing long-term effects after being infected by COVID-19.
Cleveland’s own MetroHealth has established a local Post-COVID Clinic to assist individuals with lasting symptoms across a range of cardiovascular, respiratory, dermatologic, neurological, and psychiatric needs.
Call 216-957-3959 to schedule an appointment at MetroHealth Post-COVID Clinic if your symptoms persist after 4 weeks.
COVID-19 Long-term Symptoms
According to the MetroHealth Post-COVID website, long-term symptoms include joint pain, cough, shortness of breath, anxiety, fatigue, muscle pain, intermittent fever, depression, trouble thinking or concentrating, heart palpitations, and more.
Several survivors at the event shared their personal experiences with COVID-19. The event headliner was Le’Andria Johnson from Atlanta, GA, with additional performances by spoken word poets Olivia Brown and LeBerty, dancer Antonajha Munns, and The Spiritual Believers.
I Am a Survivor Sponsors
Sponsors of the I Am a Survivor kickoff event at the Pentecostal Church of Christ included: United Black Fund of America, Saint Luke’s Foundation, WOVU 95.9 FM BBC Community Radio, Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland, Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood, Documenters, Nerve DJ, and MetroHealth.
I Am a Survivor Partnerships and Speakers
Partnerships and speakers at this event included Joy Johnson, Executive Director of Burten, Bell, Carr Development Inc.; Dale Robinson Anglin, Vice President for Programs of the Cleveland Foundation; Timothy L. Tramble, Sr., President and CEO of the Saint Luke’s Foundation; Richaun N. Bunton, LSW, MSW, Managing Director, Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood; Dale Edwards, Chief Executive Director and Editor at Call & Post; Kaye Gaines, CEO and President of Gaines Funeral Home; Alan K. Nevel, Senior Vice President and Chief Equity Officer at MetroHealth; Dr. Charles S. Modlin Jr., MD, MetroHealth; and Dr. Sherrie D. Williams, MD, MetroHealth.
“I’m telling my long COVID story, so you won’t have one to tell.”—said one COVID presenter and survivor.