Wichita teacher spends first year recovering from effects of COVID-19

Published: Apr. 12, 2021 at 11:21 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - One Wichita teacher is reflecting on her first year, but it wasn’t spent in the classroom.

Instead of teaching history to high school students, 23-year-old Peyton Cole has spent her year educating others about the effects of COVID-19.

“I didn’t have the stereotypical Covid experience, I didn’t have a lot of the respiratory symptoms. I was just really sick, I have no other way to describe it.”

Cole tested positive for the virus last year. She immediately quarantined away from her family and friends. She hoped for a full recovery, but the illness continued to linger. Cole was then diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome or POTS. She hasn’t been the same since.

Cole said she had no pre-existing health issues prior to having COVID and considers her experience with POTS directly related.

According to the Johns Hopkins Resource Center, one to three million Americans will experience POTS which may be triggered by coronavirus. The disorder causes trouble with the autonomic nervous system. Symptoms can include nausea, dizziness, chest pain and even hypertension after standing for only a few minutes. Cole said learning to live with the disorder is difficult but possible, and treatment is available.

“As I keep educating my students, I just plan to be open with them and let them know that this is my new normal and hopefully, I will become a better teacher because of it,” Cole said.

Until she can return to the classroom, Cole said she hopes to educate others about POTS and raise awareness about what others like her are experiencing. She uses her Facebook page to share her story. She said the more people who know, the better.

Copyright 2021 KWCH. All rights reserved.