Into the Unknown: Melissa Ortiz Dorset ’03, G’05, ‘08 DPT

Melissa Ortiz Dorset in face mask and shield in hospital.

“I’ve seen this virus affect people of all ages, all ethnicities, and from all walks of life.”

As an acute care physical therapist atMontefiore Medical Center in The Bronx, NY, Melissa Ortiz Dorset has seen firsthand the devastating effects of COVID-19 - even after patients recover. 

 

UM: What are you seeing in patients who have recovered from COVID-19? 

MOD: The change in their endurance is the big thing. They become short of breath doing everyday things, they’re weaker and limited in their ability to live life as normal. We’re still learning about the long-term effects of COVID-19, and it varies so widely from patient to patient. But it’s significant to see how lasting the consequences have been.

 

UM: What’s the biggest misconception about this virus? 

MOD: People don’t seem to understand how unpredictable it is. I’ve seen this virus affect people of all ages, all ethnicities, and from all walks of life. I’ve seen 20-year-olds who contract COVID and have mild symptoms, and others who end up on ventilators and feeding tubes. As a healthcare worker, that unpredictability is scary. We’re always trying to do what’s in the best interest of patients while protecting ourselves. With this virus, there’s still so much unknown.

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