TULSA, Okla. — A Tulsa woman struggles after suffering long COVID-19 symptoms.
Nicole Nascenzi is a busy mom with a full-time career and is involved in the community. Up until May, she was also an avid runner.
“I’ve run two marathons, countless half-marathons, and lots of other races,” said Nascenzi.
Getting diagnosed with COVID-19 turned her life upside down. Like many patients, it started off with cold-like symptoms, but instead of getting better, her symptoms progressively got worse.
“It was really bad,” she told 2 News. “I had trouble breathing, my heart rate spiked, incredibly tired, I was really scared.”
At one point, Nascenzi felt like she might die. And while she eventually got better, she still suffers from lingering, debilitating symptoms to this day. They include shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, and numbness.
According to federal data, as many as 1 in 4 Americans who contract COVID-19 will have lingering symptoms for months. It also impacts the job market: The Brookings Institution says 15% of open jobs were left unfilled because of long COVID-19.
Nascenzi recently went back to work full-time and largely credits pulmonary rehabilitation at Hillcrest Hospital in Tulsa.
Doctors also recommended an anti-inflammatory diet and an array of supplements. She is still working with a team of doctors and hopes to get back to her days of running.
Right now, she is walking a slow, one-mile in her neighborhood before getting out of breath.
Researchers in Tulsa are currently recruiting participants to study the long-term effects of COVID-19.
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