Two Chinese doctors who fell seriously ill with coronavirus found their skin had changed color after surviving the deadly illness.
Dr. Yi Fan and Dr. Hu Weifeng, who both aged 42, were diagnosed with COVID-19 during working for patients at the Wuhan Central Hospital in January. Doctors who are treating them stated that they both needed life support but after they were treated they found their skin turned darker.
The skin color change is due to an imbalance in hormones that occurred as their livers were damaged by the virus, Chinese state media reports. Dr. Yi and Dr. Hu both worked with whistle-blower Li Wenliang, who was punished for speaking about the virus and then died of the disease on February 7.
The two doctors were diagnosed on January 18 and first transferred to the Wuhan Pulmonary Hospital, according to Chinese state broadcaster CCTV. Dr. Yi, a cardiologist, survived COVID-19 after doctors put him to a life-support machine called ECMO for 39 days.
ECMO is a strong life-support machine that substitutes the function of the lungs and heart. Urologist Dr. Hu’s case was more dangerous and he has been in bed for 99 days, the doctor responsible for his case said.
Dr. Li Shusheng – who is handling both sick doctors– said that both doctors’ skin has changed due to the kind of medication they had in the early stage of their therapy. He also said that one of the medication’s side effects is the changing skin color to darker shades.
Although he didn’t name this medication, Dr. Li said that he expects that both doctors will be back to their natural skin color after their livers are treated and back to function properly. Dr. Yi said from his hospital bed, where he said he had generally recovered from the coronavirus.
He also said that he can move while in bed but it is still hard for him to walk on his own. He said to a reporter: ‘When I first gained consciousness, especially after I got to know about my condition, I felt scared. I had nightmares often.’
Dr. Hu endured ECMO therapy from February 7 to March 22 but was incapable of talking till April 11. He is still in ICU. Dr. Li said that both doctors are having mental care support as they had an extremely traumatic experience.