Local News

Young Cary man recovers from heart infection caused by COVID-19

Posted October 2, 2020 9:57 p.m. EDT
Updated October 3, 2020 9:15 a.m. EDT

— A month after Chavez Adams thought he had fully recovered from the coronavirus, he spent a week at WakeMed Hospital in an intensive care unit fighting for his life.

“It’s amazing to be here and knowing that last week I possibly could not have been," Adams said.

At first, Adams and his wife, Ashlea, had a mild case of coronavirus back in August.

"We quarantined for the 14 days. We thought we were fine. We thought we were covered," he said.

Adams is a healthy man in his 20s. But, over the next four weeks, the virus attacked his heart, without him knowing.

“I had got some chills. It kind of came out of nowhere. Just very extreme," he said. "My whole body was shaking and I couldn’t explain why."

The couple went to many healthcare facilities and took several tests to try and figure out what was going on. All the while, Adams was testing negative for the coronavirus.

It was difficult for doctors to find out what was going on.

Adams' condition got more serious. His blood pressure bottomed out, his organs began shutting down and he lost the ability to breathe.

It was pneumonia and myocarditis, a viral infection of the heart, and a result of COVID-19.

Christopher Kelly, a doctor and cardiologist with North Carolina Heart and Vascular at UNC Hospital, said that somewhere between 20 to 25% of people hospitalized with the coronavirus have some heart issue.

That issue could range from "mild to just blood abnormalities to full blown heart failure," Kelly said.

Adams is among the rare 1% of people who experience heart failure that requires an emergency heart pump procedure.

“I would never in a million years would have thought that they would be putting something in his body, let alone a heart pump to keep him alive," Adams' wife, Ashlea, said.

Adams said that he thinks it's important for young people to understand that they are not immune and immortal. According to the North Carolina Department of Health, 41% of coronavirus cases in the state are in people between the ages of 25 to 41. 17% of cases are in people aged18 to 24.

This message is beginning to resonate with many more, as President Trump’s positive COVID test was revealed Friday, Dr. Kelly said.

“This highlights that even if you’re the president of the United States, if you’re not careful, you can get infected," Kelly said. I think people should take a lesson from that."

The Adams added that the doctors are amazed with his turnaround since being discharged last Friday, calling it a miraculous heart recovery. Adams will continue to receive heart checkups in the future.

"This virus can kill people and it can hurt people. It can take lives and it has," Adams said.

Our commenting policy has changed. If you would like to comment, please share on social media using the icons below and comment there.