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Florida COVID-19 patient fully recovers from virus, shares journey

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The first patient to test positive for COVID-19 in Hillsborough County, Florida says she has fully recovered from the virus.

Kaelyn Sheedy is a Tampa sports therapist who contracted the coronavirus while traveling through Europe in mid-February.

“When I tested positive, I was just like ‘Wow, what are the chances?'” she told WFLA via Facetime Wednesday.

When she was in Europe, she says people there were not talking about the virus but she traveled with a mask just in case.

“Tried to do my best to protect myself while on planes and traveling,” she explained.

It was on the flight back to America when she said she began to show symptoms: fatigue, fever, and coughing up green mucus. Sheedy called the CDC who cleared her to fly from New York to Tampa, only to come home and test positive for the virus on February 28th.

She immediately quarantined herself at home, along with her traveling buddy who also contracted the virus.

“I’m a healthy individual,” Sheedy said. “I could see how someone with underlying conditions could have had a much more difficult experience.”

Twelve days into her 14 day quarantine, Sheedy stopped showing symptoms and tested negative. A second test on March 13th confirmed she had recovered and is now coronavirus-free.

Now she’s sharing her story to encourage other young people to take the situation seriously. Sheedy even hosted a social media Q&A, answering questions from other users to help ease fears but also urge vigilance.

“It’s not going to hit home until it hits home,” she explained. “And that’s when it’s your mother, or grandmother, or grandfather.”

Sheedy applauds the response the state has had so far, forcing bars and other public places to close to prevent the spread of the virus.

Even though Sheedy is feeling well once again, she won’t be going back to work just quite yet. As a sports therapist, she works with many professional athletes who are currently not playing due to the coronavirus crisis, so it’ll be some time before her life is fully back to normal.

For more on Sheedy’s recovery and personal experience with the virus, you can find her on Instagram at @kaelynsheedy.

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