- “I don’t remember going to ICU,” nurse Brian Wilhite remembered. “I was in a coma. I went into complete lung failure. I’ve got COVID brain. I’m a long-hauler.”
- The legal challenge for Brian and Janet Wilhite is a Kansas workers’ compensation law written before the pandemic, which could block claims for permanent disability.
- “All our front line workers are called heroes, but no one has heard they are not covering workers’ compensation cases. Morally, I think it’s reprehensible,” said attorney Jonathan Voegeli.
- Workers’ Compensation Law Might Not Cover Wichita Nurse Who Almost Died Of C-19
“Via Christi Health registered nurse Brian Wilhite interacted a couple times in August 2020 with what was thought to be a hospital patient with routine respiratory issues.
In fact, Wilhite’s patient was extraordinary and would dramatically change his life.
Wilhite wasn’t aware the patient had apparently slipped through the Wichita hospital’s coronavirus screening protocol. By the time it was confirmed the person had contracted COVID-19, Wilhite believes the damage had been done. Wilhite eventually began to experience a tickle in his throat, fever and sweats. He tested positive for the virus. His medical condition nosedived while hospitalized with a ferocity that compelled doctors to conclude he was dying and a candidate for hospice.
His risky transfer to Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City, which specializes in lung impairments, saved his life.
“I don’t remember going to ICU,” Wilhite said. “I was in a coma. I went into complete lung failure. I’ve got COVID brain. I’m a long-hauler…”
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