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Tampa Bay woman describes long-term effects from contracting COVID-19

Nancy Reinthaler contracted COVID-19 in November
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Posted at 9:14 PM, Apr 28, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. — A Tampa Bay woman is suffering long-term effects of COVID-19.

Nancy Reinthaler and her husband Brian contracted the virus in November. Nancy was hospitalized after experiencing shortness of breath.

"It felt like no matter how much air I got in, I couldn't get enough in," she said.

She spent five months in the hospital and needed a ventilator and feeding tube.

"I had a brain hemorrhage so I'm on seizure medications and have to see a neurologist. I couldn't walk. I couldn't hold anything for a while," said Nancy.

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Nancy returned home nearly a week ago after spending time in rehabilitation. She remains on dialysis.

"Then as a final insult before she was discharged home, she lost most of her hair. It just started falling out in clumps," said her husband Brian.

Prior to her COVID-19 diagnosis, Nancy said she loved the outdoors. She would bike ride and kayak with friends.

"It's a struggle every day...getting out of bed, getting dressed, it's tough," she said.

She hopes to regain her strength.

"I'm just concentrating on hopefully getting in my pool once again," she said.

Nancy has rheumatoid arthritis, a condition that makes it easier for her to catch viruses. She wants others who have a compromised immune system to be careful.

"It's not just a cold or just flu symptoms," she said. "I'm just here to tell you just to beware, do whatever you can to not get it."

While Nancy was in the hospital, their family dog Sunshine became sick. He was diagnosed with lymphoma and treatments would be costly.

Shawna Green with Medicine River Animal Hospital contacted Good Karma Senior Dog Rescue and they set up a fundraiser for Sunshine on Facebook.

Sunshine receives chemotherapy every Tuesday.

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