NBC News Kelly Ryan
(NBC News) — Kelly Ryan beat COVID-19, but months later an unexpected side effect is causing her daily devastation.
Ryan suffered a tough bout with COVID-19 in October 2020.
“It really knocked me out, I mean hard,” she says.
She was briefly hospitalized, then put on oxygen for three weeks. Fortunately, she made a full recovery. Then, about four months after her initial diagnosis, something unexpected started happening.
“When I was taking a shower I kind of started to see a lot more hair in the drain and I was thinking oh that’s kind of odd,” Ryan recalls.
Her long, thick hair was starting to fall out.
“Combing my hair, it was just coming out in big chunks of hair,” she says.
The hair loss has also started to take a toll on her mental health.
“It’s really hard not to start the day out with sadness,” she says. “It is emotional because your hair is part of your identity. As women, right or wrong, we identify with our hair.”