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Famous perfume maker helping COVID-19 survivors recover their sense of smell

Posted at 7:50 AM, Jun 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-30 07:50:09-04

Right now, there are still many Americans with long-term COVID-19 symptoms.

According to Johns Hopkins University those long-haul symptoms don't follow a pattern, age group or how severe someone had coronavirus.

Coronavirus can affect cells in the nose, leading to a lost sense of smell or taste entirely.

For some, their taste came back with things smelling bad or strange.

For about of quarter of people, the problem resolved in a couple of weeks.

Johns Hopkins doctors say there's a 60 to 80 percent chance these people will see improvement in smell within a year.

There's a wide range of therapy suggested from medication to doctors visits but some are trying to help in outside-the-box ways.

Perfume maker Sue Phillips has decades in the fragrance industry and is based out of New York City.

She is helping people around the country, nearly 40 so far, regain their smell after losing it with COVID-19.

"Emotions, memory are all triggered by our sense of smell," said Phillips.

She made the trip for a "Passion for Fashion" fundraising event, coordinated by Lexye Aversa, in Palm Beach County but to also help someone new: Buddy Tyler of Deerfield Beach.

Tyler had radiation treatment for cancer and lost his smell and taste.

Phillips hasn't tried her therapy on someone with his background.

"When people can really rediscover their sense of smell, it's very powerful. You can see how powerful it is I'm getting choked up just talking about it," said Phillips.

WPTV Newschannel 5 Anchor Mike Trim watched as Phillips had Tyler smell several scents.

She spoke to Tyler along the way saying, "I'm very hopeful that I can try and help you at least as i like to say, lift the fog," said Phillips.

She went on to say, "Think of this as a scent-healing journey and see what happens."

After about 20 minutes, it was clear Tyler's therapy wouldn't work this day.

He couldn't smell anything but he's open for another try sometime soon.

Tyler said, "That's ingrained in me now, is to continue to fight hard until there's less than any hope left."

The next day the Passion for Fashion fundraiser raised thousands for Safe Haven for Newborns and Grey Team, which services military veterans.

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