Milwaukee, Wisc. (TMJ4) — Not everyone who meets Carmen Lerma knows what she’s been through.
Lerma stated, “I thank God that I am alive every day and that he allows me to do one more positive thing.” “When I wake up in the morning, that’s the first thing I do. I give thanks and say, please give me the strength to do as much as I can today.”
Lerma organized a Saturday event that offered families free turkeys, grocery shopping, Walmart gift cards, and other resources. The clinic also offered the flu shot and COVID-19 vaccinations, as well as the booster vaccine.
Lerma, who was born in Puerto Rico but was raised in Milwaukee as a Latino child, has a mission to get more city Latinos vaccinated.
Lerma stated, “I am Latina and I understand that sometimes people hesitate to do certain tasks for certain reasons.” “My mission in life is to make sure that everyone is aware of the safety of COVID-19. It is meant to protect enough to spare you from going through what I did.
Lerma has been surviving a double lung transplant for just over one year after suffering irreversible damage to her lungs from COVID-19. She continues to practice normal tasks like coughing or yawning.
Lerma explained that “the only thing I notice about my chest is that it’s tighter. So when I breathe or sneeze, I feel them expand.” “Many people don’t realize that after a lung transplant you have to relearn how to cough, yawn and sneeze. These things don’t happen by accident.
Lerma is now back at work. She likes to be active, but admits that it can be challenging.
Lerma stated that people need to be able to see what the coronavirus does and causes.
Lerma receives blood every week and takes 52 pills daily to prevent her body rejecting her new lungs.
She claims that her battle with COVID and the toll it had on her body also led to other conditions, including hair loss and thyroid disease.
Lerma needed emergency surgery at the end of October due to a stomach problem.
Lerma stated that doctors put me under to examine my lungs and found something in my stomach. “I don’t remember much about it, but I have 30 staples in my stomach. Doctors told me I got very sick, very quickly.”
Lerma’s passion for helping others and living well continues to drive her through every health challenge.
But, she is now suffering from anxiety and insomnia as a result of the trauma she suffered.