ASHEBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — As COVID cases from the omicron variant continue surging in the Triad, an Asheboro woman says she still facing symptoms from the virus nearly two years later.
“I still feel like it is 2020 in a lot of ways because I don’t know if I’m stuck in a loop,” Patricia Finegan Hunter said Friday.
Hunter has visited 22 doctors seeking answers for nearly two years. She recalls initially feeling ill in February 2020 after a trip to Hawaii.
“That was two days before Valentine’s Day of February 2020, and I just started feeling really tired about two days after my flight. Just really out of it. Very congested. Just out of breath and winded, which is very unusual for me,” she explained.
Then 42-years-old and a healthy yoga teacher and massage therapist, Hunter recovered from what she thought was a chest cold or walking pneumonia.
In May of the same year, she started experiencing long-haul symptoms.
“I just kept getting more and more dizzy, nauseated, winded, started having severe heart palpitations. Things like that that were just very unusual for me,” Hunter told FOX8.
In July 2020, she was hospitalized, and doctors later told her she suffered a heart attack.
“All in all, I have now been diagnosed with four different autoimmune disorders, a prior heart attack, and I had myocarditis at one point,” Hunter said.
Still feeling exhaustion, brain fog and nausea, her doctors backtracked her symptoms and believe she’s fighting ongoing impacts from COVID.
“The way COVID messed with me, it did something with blood clots in my veins to where I started having high clotting factor kind of thing, and then the veins began to atrophy some, so they’re having a lot of reflux,” Hunter said.
Her health forced her to stop teaching yoga and close her studio.
“It’s just been really hard,” she said wiping away a tear. “It went from me helping my community to me now needing help from my community.”
Hunter hopes vascular surgery on her legs and torso on Jan. 4 will help ease her symptoms and achieve her goal of returning to teaching in the new year.
“I’m hoping that this will help me help my clients again one day when I’m able to get back to it,” she said.
A GoFundMe page has raised more than $4,000 to help cover the cost of her medical expenses.