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Misleading Headline Blames COVID for Double Amputation

And the award for Most Misleading Headline of the Week goes to Newsweek, for publishing a story titled “In Fight to Save 20-Year-Old Model’s Life From COVID, Doctors Will Amputate Legs” on January 28. 

This sounds terrible – losing your legs is a possible complication from COVID? Well, let’s take a closer look at the story. Upon reading through the article and cross verifying it with other sources, it’s revealed that the young woman, Claire Bridges, was admitted to Tampa General Hospital on January 16 with severe leg pain and a positive COVID test. She was then diagnosed with COVID myocarditis, rhabdomyolysis, mild pneumonia, cyanotic, and acidosis. 

Soon after checking into the hospital, Bridges’s heart stopped. Doctors revived her by performing CPR. She coded twice more within the next two hours and was successfully revived by hospital staff. 

Bridges went on life support the next day and was given a TandemHeart, a device that provides a regulated supply of oxygenated blood to internal organs. Soon after that, she was placed on continuous dialysis due to her failing kidneys.

That is a horrific amount of medical issues for one young woman to face. I can only imagine the anguish her family, friends, and other loved ones are experiencing while watching her battle through one dire situation after the next. 

It’s terrifying to think that all this can happen due to one case of COVID. But, Bridges’s conditions do not appear to all be direct complications of her COVID diagnosis, as the headline leads readers to believe. If losing your legs was a real, common possibility after contracting COVID, the lines to get the shot would be around the block. 

But, Bridge was born with a congenital heart condition. That seems to be a fairly serious “underlying condition” as classified by the medical community. Her pneumonia was diagnosed as mild; sources have not reported the severity of her actual COVID case.

Furthermore, she was vaccinated against COVID. Heart issues were reported by vaccine makers to be a side effect of receiving the vaccination. That information has also been largely left out of stories reporting on Bridges’ medical situation. 

Two GoFundMe pages have been set up for Bridges, one to help with her living expenses after she is discharged from the hospital and one to help pay her ongoing medical expenses. Her dad, Wayne Bridges, set up the medical expense fund with the goal of raising $50,000. Her roommate, Heather Valdes, set up the living expenses fund with a goal of $100,000. 

Despite the murkiness surrounding the root of her medical conditions and subsequent diagnoses, it appears that Bridges is keeping her spirits up and focusing on the positive despite being informed that she will lose both her legs. Her dad posted in an update on Facebook that “When the moment came to let her know about losing her legs the doctor handled it beautifully but held nothing back. Claire whispered ‘I want Bionic legs’ and smiled.” 

When her doctor asked Bridges if she had any questions, she said, “Thank you for saving my life.” 

Written by CFP Staff Writer

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