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'I am healthy. And now, I can barely even breathe': SA mother shares long-term effects of coronavirus

For some patients, COVID-19 isn't done when a test comes back negative.

SAN ANTONIO — A young San Antonio mother who survived the coronavirus is now struggling to breathe as she deals with the long-term effects of a disease researchers are learning more about every week. 

Jessica Monteagudo said doctors told her the virus has left a permanent impact on her body.

While she was battling the virus, she had pneumonia.

"It didn't feel like the flu at all," she said. "It was a 100 times worse."

The mother of five had to isolate alone for two weeks, away from her family.

"I couldn't hug them, touch them, nothing," she said. "That was the hardest part."

After those two weeks, it was time to get back to work. She got tested again, and it came back negative. 

But she noticed something was still wrong.

"Even having a conversation, it is hard for me to take deep breaths," she said. "And to breathe normal...my body doesn't feel normal at all."

Doctors took x-rays and found something startling.

"I had a lot of scar tissue inside my lungs due to the COVID causing the pneumonia," she said. "And that is why I have shortness of breath."

The 34-year-old is now stuck with long-term effects she says will last for the rest of her life.

"I am healthy," she said. "And now, I can barely even breathe."

She wants to warn others to take this seriously.

"If you get this virus," she said. "It is going to affect you for the rest of your life. It is going to ravish your body. It is going to leave long-term effects on your body. It is something to not joke around about."

Monteagudo now has to use an inhaler, she believes for the rest of her life. Playing with her kids is a bit more arduous than before. But the mother, who is thankful to survive, plans to donate her plasma to save lives.

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