Liberty AD Durr’s long-term recovery from COVID proves to be a life-changing experience

There were nights, scary nights, all AD Durr could do was lie on an inflatable mattress in the living room of their Atlanta apartment and focus on breathing.

Just over a month after being tested for COVID-19 in June 2020, the Liberty guard formerly known as Asia Durr has gone from a healthy 145-pound professional basketball player to a 115-pound skeleton who can barely walk.

Vomit regularly and spit up blood, deal with stabbing lung pain and need help just by getting to the bathroom. Taylor Johnson, Alder’s fiancé, was sleeping on a mattress next to Alder. There were times when the two of them just held hands and prayed to spend the night.

“We were calling the hospital every few hours,” Johnson said. “There were more than a few points where I thought M.

Durr said: I was in a dark place for a long time.

After two years of suffering with long-term COVID — a condition the Centers for Disease Control estimates may affect up to 23 million Americans — Elder is finally in a better place, both physically and emotionally.

Dorre is back at Liberty after missing the past two seasons and feels lucky to be feeling healthy and back to play the game.

AD Durr #25 of the New York Liberty deals with…

AD Durr #25 of the New York Liberty handles the ball during training on April 29, 2022 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Credit: NBAE via Getty Images / Evan Yu

However, a lot has changed since Durr’s junior season when Durr started 15 games after being the No. 2 overall pick by Liberty in the 2019 WNBA Draft. Durr has a new coach and nearly all of his new teammates, and at times finds it hard to accept how much The disease that caused the loss of Durr.

Only role function has not changed. Durr has been forever changed by experience over the past two years. Lying on that air mattress, Elder had time to think. This eventually led to talking to a therapist and deciding that it was time to make some changes. Alder said life is too short to be my “true self”.

Durr now passes the letter AD and uses their/their/pronouns. They don’t label themselves as non-binary or transgender. Durr is believed to be one of two current players in the WNBA to use pronouns in general other than he/she with the other player being Layshia Clarendon of Minnesota, who used to play with Liberty.

“I feel like I had to hide what I was like in the past,” Al-Durr said. “But [my therapist] It was good to be you even if you were different from everyone else or even if people really didn’t agree with that or like that. I’m still you. Live your truth and be happy.”

Before COVID-19 got sick, Durr’s life had been about basketball almost since they first picked up the ball at the age of three. Named the No. 2 potential player in the nation by ESPNW, Durr signed with Louisville and averaged 18.7 points in his sophomore year. during the higher seasons. The Dawn Staley Award winner Durr, awarded to the first guard of the college game, was named an Senior and led the Cardinals to the appearance of the Final Four.

I was thrilled that Liberty finished second in 2019 and was Liberty’s third leading scorer as a rookie at 9.7 points per game. When he was first diagnosed with COVID-19 in 2020, he popped into a spin for a few weeks and then joined the team in the WNBA bubble in Florida.

Instead, the next two years would test Durr, both physically and emotionally, as he saw 15 different doctors trying to get some relief from symptoms, which at various times included heart palpitations, shortness of breath, chills, sweating, brain fog and stomach problems.

Basketball, which had always been a haven, was suddenly taken away. Not only could Elder think of getting a basketball, there were times when they couldn’t even watch a game.

“There was no energy to do any kind of physical activity,” Johnson said. “It was a struggle just getting motivated to get up and brush our teeth. It was so bad and so scary.”

Things started to turn a durr at the end of last summer, and I’m slowly starting to gain some steam. Durr was able to go to see the Liberty game in Atlanta last season and was overwhelmed by the reception of his teammates. When Dor finally stepped onto the field for the first rehearsal, the feeling was overwhelming.

“It was very emotional,” Johnson said. “I went through a lot for two years and then was able to go back to that locker room and see your locker and your name. AD wasn’t designed to do anything other than what AD does.”

Now, Dor is adjusting to playing a lower role as they regain their strength and learn with their new teammates. Entering Friday night’s game in Seattle against Storm, he was averaging 7.4 minutes off the bench.

“They made really big strides last week,” Liberty coach Sandy Brundello said on Tuesday. The fog is no longer there. It’s as if they’re starting to get used to the game again. take time. Especially the symptoms they had to contend with. This is just horrible, really horrible. But they are an inspiration that they can go back out there and do something they love.”

Dor now hopes to inspire others who are going through tough times, whether it’s with their identity or their mental or physical health.

Saeed Al-Durr: I think a lot of people struggle to be who they really are because they are afraid of being judged and not accepted or bullied. This is why children and people fear being different. There are a lot of judgments in this world. I just want to let people know that I was that person once. I was afraid of being myself. But it’s ok. Even if you are different.”