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Bend woman continues to battle COVID-19 after 18 weeks

COVID-19 "long haulers" say there is more to virus than people know

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- You hear the stories of many people who contract COVID-19, quarantining for 14 days and healing from the virus, but there’s  a community of people who’ve battled COVID-19 symptoms for months now.

Brianna Neves, 38, of Bend is considered a COVID-19 “long hauler” and has been battling effects of the virus 19 for nearly 18 weeks now. Continuing to endure the symptoms, Neves took to Facebook recently share how her experience has affected her life, in hopes of helping others.

Neves is a behavioral health specialist, had no preexisting medical conditions, ate a plant-based diet and worked out regularly. She says she did not expect to be suffering so severely from the novel coronavirus.

She experienced shortness of breath, which she thought was just allergies, but later contracted viral conjunctivitis in both her eyes prompting her to get tested.

Neves never actually had a fever, one of the more typical symptoms of COVID-19, which made her experience with doctors even more challenging.

“The challenge of this is that you're trying to believe what is going on and you're trying to teach your medical personnel what is going on, because this is new for them," Neves. "For some of the physicians I worked with, I was one of the first patients with COVID. So that shock, surprisingly in week 17 or 18 now, is something I am still working through.”

Neves was tested the first week of April. She now takes three asthma medications, is reliant on oxygen 24 hours a day and struggles to do everyday activities, like going to the bathroom or walking to the kitchen.

“The game-changers for me are physicians who are willing to stand by me and say, 'I don’t know, I am willing to learn what this looks like,'" she said.

"So there is a definitive difference with physicians who want to put me in boxes they're already familiar with, that COVID absolutely does not fit within, which has impaired the level of care that I have received throughout.”

Neves says some physicians have continued to educate themselves with updated information on what COVID-19 can look like, while others focus on specific parameters. She says this one of the many reasons why people don’t believe COVID can last so long.

“The single thing that has gotten me through this is other long-haulers that have shared their stories, and that when I've read those stories along the way, it's been my lifeline," Neves said. "To not only know this is real, to help deal with the shock that we have talked about, but also that I am not alone.”

Neves says though this experience has been isolating. Neves is still struggling to breathe daily, but she's been at home for weeks.

She shared that she's been prescribed oxygen, but it is no longer covered by her insurance company. Neves also has not been medically released to work from home, so it has been difficult not being able to see any of her clients, as she is a therapist.

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Arielle Brumfield

Arielle Brumfield is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Arielle here.



  1. Thanks for the hoax, chinese state media / znn / z21, this is all fake news and everyone knows wuhan virus has symptoms milder than most allergies! No one is dying from it and all the info from the hospitals is being photoshopped to ruin the election for our Great President.
    Just like antifa these covid cases are all people from portland or chicago who are trying to stir up trouble- they dont even live here folks, YOUR FREEDOM IS AT STAKE, ALL LIVES MATTER EXCEPT COVID “PATIENTS”

    1. sweet micro thatrum anonymousktvz!! ….this othewuse healthy woman was hit hard by COVID, just like the same otherwise healthy/young folk are equally affecteed by the seasonal flle every year. I wish her a speedy recovery

      1. So flu is a hoax too! It makes sense, im glad we are pulling out of the WHO because it looks like all scientists are liars and dont listen to their elders anyways- you are right these lazy millenial sick-fakers need to stop whining about the sniffles and just recover already, get back to work and we can finally go to the movies again! FREEDOM ISNT FREE MAGA 2020- WUHAN BAD TRUMP GOOD!

    2. You know what’ll “Make America Great Again?” When natural selection plays it’s role in weeding out the dumb folks. You know, the ones who continue to be a part of the problem by calling this a hoax, disregarding science facts over bigotry, and who refuse to wear masks to protect the community their supposedly so patriotic about. You know- the Trumpers. Hey maybe you can go protest “Wif dem big scawry guns” again, and no masks. You guys really did great last time! I mean, look at Covid now!! Whatchya gonna do… shot the virus this time?? (pew pew) LMFAO!! Your kind has finally met it’s match- Darwinism. Maybe America will finally be great, thanks to Trump leading his lemmings off the Covid cliff. Maybe he’ll actually live up to his promise.. LOL. Also, I am a republican. Trump supporters DO NOT represent republican values. They represent Trump values- values based on nothing but greed. I also love guns. But I’m not one of those idiots parading around at a protest using my guns as a tool of intimidation. You Trumpanzees are giving Republicans, gun owners, and Americans in general- a bad, bad name. Trump supporters who think this virus is a hoax, are disgusting creatures.

    3. What kind of mental illness do you need help for? The ENTIRE world is in on a hoax against you. Other countries are not allowing Americans to travel there (Canada, Mexico, all of Europe…) because it is a big hoax. Just stay far, far away from people please. Your kind of crazy needs medication.

  2. This same thing happens in a small minority of people that contract the flu, but you never see it in the media. It’s only being highlighted because it’s covid and meant to scare you.

    1. Cite your sources, slugger. You’re regurgitating right-wing talking points without question. What a nice wool coat you have there, Mr. Sheep.

  3. I feel bad for her but holy crap. A vegetarian that doesn’t believe in western medicine that seems to have total disdain for the doctors isn’t going to get much sympathy from me. Her facebook post made me laugh.

      1. I’m so glad that she is taking time from saving lives with her amazing activism work to take time to educate the medical community. I hope we can have a new ribbon color to show support for her. I promise to wear it proudly. Again, I feel sorry for her, nobody should get the disease.

  4. This looks so fake that it probably is. So now all of a sudden we have a term called “long haulers” to describe this fake pandemic? Her facebook post was a joke.

    1. Correct vegetarian countries are having much more severe outbreaks than we are, our numbers are some of the best in the world, especially in the no mask states like texas and florida- LET THE FREEDOM FLAG FLY FREE 2020!

    1. Actually she is a Vegan which is why her immune system is so low. She is not getting the 9 essential amino acids that the body needs to stay healthy. I tried being a Vegan for 10 months to lower my hereditary high cholesterol naturally. I became weak and I was sick all the time. The Doctor told me to start eating meat again or I was going to have serious problems. So I went back to eating meat again and just took the Cholesterol pill. I am now healthy and have not been sick for years. My friend was a hard core vegan. When he reached the age of 60 he started going downhill. His Doctor told him to eat meat or he was going to die. So he started eating meat. He’s doing pretty good now. If a person wants to be a Vegan that is their business. But if they dont get what they really need to survive. They will have a problem.

  5. So, has she been sick for 14 weeks or over 18 weeks? How is this any different than the flu virus affecting the occasional person worse than others? If we all wear tennis rackets on our face, are we any worse off than wearing a cloth mask? If all this social distancing, cloth mask wearing, businesses being forced to shut down, and hiding in our homes is so effective, then why don’t we just hide out even longer; maybe then we can rid the planet of all airborne viruses.
    “Bend woman continues to battle COVID-19 after 18 weeks.” “Neves was tested the first week of April.(14 weeks ago)”

  6. First, my sympathies for her. I would like to see stimulus aid to any who have suffered this. To not have your oxygen use covered is horrible. Is the name of the provider not permitted to be in the story? I understand theres regulations to adhere to. Also,I don’t recall reading how she contracted COVID. Did I miss it?

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