A Bay City woman needs a new lung as she battles the aftermath of COVID-19.

What began as a positive test over a month ago has led to an airlift to Detroit for medical care, a weeks-long hospital stay, and crippling pneumonia.

Kaylee Moore’s positive COVID-19 diagnosis came on Oct. 17. She started to have trouble breathing a couple of days after that.

“She just kinda went downhill from there. And then eight days later, they said she’s too bad we need to put her in a medically induced coma and put her on a ventilator. And at that time, she had a twenty percent chance to live,” said Collete Kuhl, Kaylee’s mother.

When Moore’s lungs really began failing, her mother Colette got her transferred to Ascension St. John’s in Detroit. The hospital has an ECMO Machine, which oxygenates your blood for you.

“Her lungs, they’re shot. They’re pitted. Inside, they’re just pitted. The COVID-19 pneumonia just destroyed her lungs,” Kuhl said.

Moore has so little lung function left, she needs a new one.

“She’s funny and witty and just it, you know it, it’s just surprising. Like, how is this even happening like that’s what COVID-19 can do. I mean it’s unbelievable,” Kuhl said.

Moore has worked at a group home since she was 18. Her mother said she was unvaccinated and 20 years old.

“I spend about seven hours a day with her at the hospital and then that night I kinda break down and just let all of that hurtfulness come out,” Kuhl said.

Some light at the end of the tunnel happened on Monday when Moore went off the ventilator. They are now waiting for a new lung.

“The problem there is, is that COVID-19 is so bad right now that all of the ECMO’s are full. So, we’ll have to find an open ECMO machine and then of course we have to wait for a perfect match for her lungs,” Kuhl said.

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