A 30-year-old Brooklyn teacher is fighting for her life after contracting coronavirus. Despite showing symptoms, Rana Zoe Mungin did not get tested until her third return to the hospital after her condition worsened and was struggling to breathe on her own.
Speaking to PIX11, Rana’s sister, Mia Mungin, said Rana visited the hospital on March 15 complaining of a fever, headache and shortness of breath. She was, however, treated for asthma and given medication for her headache. Mia, who is a health care worker and lives with her sister, also revealed she got into contact with a work colleague who complained of fever on March 9. She said she also felt sick on March 9 and developed a fever the following day.
“They gave her albuterol for asthma and and gave her a shot of Toradol for her headache,” Mia said, adding that Rana kept complaining, “My headache is so bad.”
Rana was then discharged without being tested for the virus. Her condition, however, deteriorated in the next days and she still had difficulties breathing.
“She still was having shortness of breath, the 16th, 17th, and 18th,” Mia said. “My mother asked her if she wanted to go back to the hospital and she said, ‘No.’”
With Rana’s condition not getting any better, Mia said she called paramedics to their residence and her sister was subsequently administered a nebulizer treatment. She also told PIX11 one of the paramedics was adamant Rana’s lungs were clear.
“He insinuated she was having a panic attack. She kept saying ‘I can’t breathe,” she said. After she was transported to the hospital – which was her second visit, doctors still declined to test her for COVID-19.
“Her lungs are clear. We’re not going to test for corona, because we don’t have enough tests,” the doctors said, according to Mia.
Things got worse with Rana at home on March 19 as she got weaker, and by the next day, “she wasn’t breathing,” she continued. She was transported back to the Brookdale Hospital by paramedics but after three hours in admission, Mia said she was told Rana had been “intubated and on a ventilator.”
Though Rana got better after an experimental treatment for the virus was administered on her, her condition later worsened again, Mia told PIX11. She was set to be transferred from Brookdale Hospital to Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan where she would have received better treatment but the move was halted.
“I kept calling and calling,” Mia said. “They decided to hold off on the ECMO, because she was improving.” Rana, however, relapsed on March 24.
Still fighting for her life, her family was hoping their request for Rana to be added to the Remdesivir clinical trial will be given the green light. Those hopes, however, appear bleak as access to the antiviral drug is currently limited to only pregnant women and children, the New York Daily News reports.
The family is hoping Rana will receive the much needed treatment before it’s too late.
“It’s horrible,” Mia, who is disturbed she may have exposed Rana to the virus said. “There’s such a guilt.”
UPDATE: Mia shared a Tweet on March 26 confirming Rana was approved to transfer to the Mount Sinai Hospital.