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Sunday, January 17, 2021

Knowing Where to Turn

Posted By: Advancing Care
Adell and Crystal Davis, as well as Adell’s husband Lemuel, contracted COVID-19 in March. All three have recovered, thanks in part to Adell’s primary physician Carol Karmen, MD.

When an Elmsford family became sick with COVID-19, they relied on their trusted primary care physicians for treatment, monitoring and ongoing care.

As seen in the February 2021 Issue of Advancing Care.
By Lisa Cesarano / Photo by Kenneth Gabrielsen

As New York faced the frightening initial wave of COVID-19 infection and illness in March 2020, Elmsford resident Lemuel Davis started to experience a bad cough.

“We were worried about it being coronavirus, recalls his wife, Adell. “But at that time, he didn’t seem to have all the symptoms.” Within a few days, 63-year-old Adell also developed a slight fever and cough. Then, the Davis’ 28-year-old daughter, Crystal, thought she might be coming down with seasonal allergies. “I had chills, a runny nose and was very achy,” she says. “They were almost flu-like symptoms. I started to become very nervous. It quickly got worse and worse.”

With all three family members experiencing an ominous litany of symptoms — including a loss of taste and smell — they made an appointment to get tested at Westchester Medical Center, in Valhalla, the flagship of WMCHealth. All three were diagnosed with COVID-19.

Frightened, Adell and Crystal turned to Adell’s primary care physician of 24 years, Carol Karmen, MD, of WMCHealth Advanced Physician Services, Internal Medicine, in Hawthorne. “It was fortunate that they had already established care with us,” recalls Dr. Karmen. “They were comfortable with me already. When they needed help, they knew where to turn.”

Leveraging WMCHealth’s robust telemedicine capabilities, Dr. Karmen monitored Crystal and Adell, while Lemuel was monitored by Shick H. Yu, MD, of the same practice.

“Crystal’s asthma placed her at a higher risk for pneumonia, so I would check on them regularly,” says Dr. Karmen. Beyond monitoring for medical complications, including management of both women’s anemia, Dr. Karmen also offered emotional support.

“We were very sad and down,” says Adell. “The whole time, Dr. Karmen was checking on us and giving us comfort.”

“It can be very frightening to have this virus,” says Dr. Karmen. “Many people worry that they are going to die. To have ready access to medical care is a great relief. I was glad to be able to help.”

“I was expecting body aches, but the pain was just out of this world,” says Crystal. “It was all a lot worse than what we thought it would be.” 

“The COVID-19 crisis truly underscores the importance of having a primary care physician,” says Dr. Karmen. “The specialty of internal medicine is especially well-equipped to treat and monitor complex illnesses, such as COVID-19. We treat the whole person and have access to specialists in all fields of medicine, including cardiology, neurology, radiology, psychiatry and infectious disease. We work very closely and collaboratively with each other.”

Thankfully, the whole family has recovered. Since their illness, the family has had regular follow-up appointments as part of WMCHealth’s Post-COVID Recovery Program.

Reflecting on her experience, Adell adds, “I’m happy that we have such a great doctor who cares so much about us. Dr. Karmen is an awesome physician and a caring person.”

The Post-COVID Recovery Program at WMCHealth
WMCHealth has a treatment program for those who have ongoing health issues from a COVID-19 infection. The Post-COVID-19 Recovery Program is available on the Westchester Medical Center campus in Valhalla. to make an appointment Call 1.833.329.0095 or visit westchestermedicalcenter.org/postcovid19recovery