GREEN TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Rashod Lindsey was a perfectly healthy 32-year-old before a heart attack and a leg amputation would turn his world upside-down earlier this year. The sudden turn in his health, his doctors told him, could be traced back to one root cause: COVID-19.
Lindsey was waiting Monday night to find out when he might be able to return home from Mercy Health-West Hospital, after spending weeks in doctors' and nurses' care.
"[COVID] caused blood clots in my body. I'm just now getting the feeling back in my right hand," he told WCPO. "I have to go through therapy, learn how to walk again."
Throughout the course of the coronavirus pandemic, medical experts -- including some at the University of Cincinnati -- have pointed to blood clots as a potentially dangerous side effect of the disease, ranging in severity from mild to life-threatening.
In Lindsey's case, it was the latter.
"On January 1st of this year, we got a call stating that Rashod was having a heart attack," said Bridgett Boyd, Lindsey's mother. In addition to the heart attack, doctors had to amputate his right leg due to the clots, and he went into cardiac arrest twice.
His doctors tell him he could lose his left leg, too.
"With the calls from the doctors and them telling us that he possibly won't make it, it was really devastating," said Lindsey's sister, Tanika Moton.
Despite the rapid decline of his health after contracting the virus, Lindsey -- who runs a local nonprofit -- is holding on to the optimism his family has come to know and love him for. He hopes, he said, he can be an example of positivity and perseverance.
"I wanted to see people see me strong and know, like, I've been through this. I've been there. We can make it. We just have to be positive and believe in yourself," he said.
"He's just ready to make something good out of this devastating situation," Boyd said.
But beyond hoping to inspire hope in others, he also wants to show how serious coronavirus can be.
"We want to take this COVID situation serious," he said. "Even though the numbers are coming down and things are starting to look better, we still want to take it serious, so we can put this all the way behind us."
Moton has set up a GoFundMe page to help her brother with his medical bills.