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Tucsonan details life after recovering from COVID-19, dealing with lingering side effects

Posted at 6:53 AM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 08:53:23-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN9) - Nearly nine months after battling COVID-19, one Tucson man says he continues battling lingering side effects.

Manny Carreon was on a ventilator for 21 days at Banner University Medical Center back in April. The day he was released healthcare workers lined a hospital hallway and cheered him on.

“I thanked every person that I passed by," said Carreon.

Although Carreon and his family were grateful he was headed home and had beat COVID-19, they knew the days and months to follow would be tough.

“I had to learn how to swallow, eat, walk all over again," said Carreon.

Carreon is one of the many of Americans who not only recovered from COVID-19, but are now living with lingering side-effects, a group of people some call "long-haulers"

He told KGUN9 after being released from the hospital he did everything he could to regain his strength.

“I’d go in the backyard and I’d slowly take some steps on my own and then I would walk around the driveway one time, the next day I would do two," he said.

While he has been able to go back to work and take on many of the previous activities he once took part in, there is still lots he deals with on a daily basis.

“I still have numbness in my fingertips, I have numbness in my left thigh, between my knee and my hip," he said, “I still have stiffness in my joints, I use an inhaler now which I never used before.”

However, Carreon said he and his family are confident he'll get back to 100% someday, adding he's waiting for the day it's safe enough to go back to Banner UMC and thank all the healthcare workers who helped me make it through.