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Sonya Bryson-Kirksey returns from battle with COVID-19 to sing national anthem at Lightning opener

Posted at 2:45 PM, Oct 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-12 18:28:35-04

Sonya Bryson-Kirksey is like lightning in a bottle. Her personality and energy are electric.

It's her first time seeing friends at Amalie Arena since her COVID-19 diagnosis over the Summer.

Sonya Bryson-Kirksey returns from battle with COVID-19 to sing national anthem at Lightning opener

"It feels amazing. You have no idea how great this is just to be here. The sights and sounds and the people and the smell. It's great. It's great," Bryson-Kirskey told ABC Action News Anchor Deiah Riley during a run-through of the national anthem at Amalie Arena.

Everyone is happy to see her and Bolts fans will be even more excited to hear her.

A few months ago, she wasn't sure she would live to see this day.

In July, Bryson-Kirksey contracted COVID-19. She was vaccinated, but her multiple sclerosis made her more vulnerable to serious complications. She spent 30 days in the hospital, a lot of that in the ICU.

She credits her husband, her family, her faith and Bolts fans for keeping her going.

"Thank you so much for praying I feel like I was lifted by the prayer. I think that anytime we come together to do a thing is nothing but greatness is gonna come from it so thank you so much. Thank you so much," says Bryson-Kirksey.

She's still recovering but nothing could stop her from being at Amalie Arena for the Lightning Home Opener.

"I keep thinking about what it's going to feel like when you actually start to sing in front of this crowd. Will you be able to get through it emotionally?," Riley asked.

"I hope so. You know, and I feel like this, especially tomorrow night I will have 20,000 great backup singers so if I need to I can always put the microphone out to them to help me out," she says.

This is her team, her family. She plans to show up and show out for them, if she can keep the tears from falling.

"Try not to cry? Try to keep the tears under control because when I get bubbly as far as emotions are concerned it does not come out good so I'll try not to cry and and hopefully it'll come out well," she says.