BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Baltimore pediatrician is back at work treating coronavirus patients after beating the virus herself.

Dr. Sapna Kudchadkar, a pediatrician and anesthesiologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital, said she is fortunate to have her health

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“It feels really really good to be back and make a difference,” Kudchadkar said.

She spoke to WJZ’s Rachael Cardin Tuesday, via Zoom, explaining her journey and why staying home is so important.

“What I tell all of these people, staying home being in quarantine; it may feel like you’re not doing much but that’s everything,” she said. Flattening the curve is the goal for all healthcare workers, she said.

On March 21, Dr. Kudchadkar found out a colleague tested positive for the coronavirus and she knew she had to quarantine for 14 days. At first, she just had muscle aches and did not think much of it, but soon after she developed a cough and fatigue.


“It was a very interesting disease trajectory, so it started with muscle aches, started having a cough which at first wasn’t significant, but over days 3-5, the cough got much worse and I started having low-grade fevers, chills at night and every morning I would wake up and feel this crackling in my lungs,” said Dr. Kudchadkar. She also remembers having loss of smell and taste.

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The virus ran its course and Dr. Kudchadkar said the hardest part was being away from her family, and especially her children over that two-week period.

“The loss of human touch is so critically important, even in this age of having so much technology, the fact that I couldn’t hug my children and couldn’t cuddle with them was really really hard,” she said.

Now back at work and fully equipped with PPE and a decorative home-made mask, Dr. Kudchadkar said she can use her experience to help others struggling with the virus.

“I feel like it’s a little bit of solidarity, I understand what they went through. Obviously, they have much more severe disease than I did, but there’s now a sense of bonding with these patients,” said Dr. Kudchadkar.

One blessing for Kudchadkar is children are not as seriously affected by COVID 19, which is why she has been moved to treat positive patients who need all the help they can get right now.

“I can’t emphasize enough, by staying home you’re doing everything you can that helps us,” said Dr. Kudchadkar.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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Rachael Cardin