By MARY JO DAVIS, Associated PressAUBURN, Ala.
(AP) As the clock ticks down on his third bout of chemotherapy, Brandon “B.J.”
Broussard is still feeling the effects of the disease.
In a darkened hallway, a nurse stands with him as he talks about how he came to be at the center of a national conversation about how to treat the common cold.
It’s been more than two years since the 26-year-old Alabama high school student was diagnosed with COVID-19, the virus that causes the flu.
BrouSSard has seen his body’s immune system weakened.
He has developed severe fatigue and dizziness.
He is sicker than he’s ever been.
And he is not sure how to deal with the fear that his illness will continue.
B.J. Brousseard, left, hugs his mother, Tami, as they talk to reporters after speaking at a candlelight vigil for a man who died of the virus at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Atlanta, Wednesday, June 2, 2018.
BOUssard was diagnosed last year after returning from a five-day trip to Asia.
He stayed at a local hospital, but was never admitted.
His doctor didn’t know what caused his symptoms.
The next few months were a blur of confusion, anxiety and anger.
Broughard struggled to eat.
His anxiety took a toll on his job.
He was constantly stressed.
When he started to have a hard time sleeping, he went to bed early and woke up to a nightmare.
Brawssard had a lot of questions: What can I do to keep from getting sick?
How can I help my family?
How long can I keep fighting?
And how can I prevent others from getting the same fate?
Brou ssard said he’s been in constant therapy since his diagnosis.
His parents, Tani and Mike Brouessard, are part of a team of mental health experts who have helped him get through the first six months of treatment.
But there is no guarantee that he will be able to stay healthy.
And as he continues to struggle, Brous s friends, family and colleagues are beginning to worry.
It has been two years now since Brou s first bout of the flu hit.
Bodies have healed and he is starting to feel better, but he’s not sure what’s next.
Bougssard said the fear of contracting the virus has driven him to the brink of depression.
He hasn’t been able to sleep.
He doesn’t know how long he can stay on this path, even though it has worked for him so far.
And now, he said, it’s just too hard to stay on it.
He and his family are going to need support to cope.
They have been working closely with other people who have been diagnosed with the virus.
For now, the Broughssards are hoping that people with the flu will use this time to ask questions about their health.
They want to see how B.B.s condition changes as he develops.
He wants to know what his chances are of developing symptoms and what the long-term consequences will be.
The Broughses are hoping their story can help people who are feeling the same things that B.S. has been.
The hope is that they can help B.
Bs friends, families and co-workers understand how the illness affects them and the challenges that will come if they don’t.
This isn’t about me, it just feels so wrong to keep fighting, said Mike Braws, B.P.S., a volunteer who works with the local chapter of the American Academy of Neurology.
It doesn’t make sense to be in this situation.
And it’s so important that everyone understands what it’s like to be sick, said Tami Brawsdall, a volunteer with the Alabama chapter of a group that focuses on caring for people with COIDs.
I just don’t want anyone else to have to deal that, Brawdall said.
I want them to know that it’s not their fault.
The AP is not naming Brouses family or the other people affected by the virus because it is still under investigation.
They could not be reached for comment.