San Antonio nurse says post-COVID recovery clinic changed her life

Registered nurse Cassandra Hernandez contracted COVID-19 last year, continues to have symptoms

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio registered nurse who contracted COVID-19 last year said a post-COVID recovery clinic at the South Texas Medical Center changed her life.

“I’m an OR (operating room) nurse. I used to do seven miles at work and now I can barely walk down a block without getting short of breath or have the residual cough,” Cassandra Hernandez said.

Hernandez said she contracted COVID-19 in June and went to the emergency room twice.

She was quarantined for 40 days, but the symptoms continued.

“It started with extreme body aches to the point where I couldn’t get out of bed, and within hours I couldn’t breathe,” Hernandez said.

She was hospitalized in August and was treated for COVID-19.

After being released from the hospital, Hernandez said she went to a rehabilitation center, but it didn’t help.

“I couldn’t walk. I was in a wheelchair. I couldn’t take care of myself. I had lost my short-term memory,” Hernandez said.

In late August, Hernandez learned about the COVID-19 recovery clinic located at the UT Health San Antonio Medical Arts and Research Center.

“I think we’re so blessed to have a clinic here in San Antonio to help us with post-COVID syndrome,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez said she was recommended to different specialists, including a neurologist.

“This had affected my brain and my lungs and my heart,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez hopes her story helps others.

“For everyone out there whose suffering, who thinks that it’s all just in their head, this is very real and you’re not alone, and please get help,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez is walking, but still has some symptoms, including extreme fatigue. She hopes to make a full recovery and go back to work soon.

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