Ottawa teen ‘long-hauler’ wants young people to take COVID-19 seriously

OTTAWA — An Ottawa teenager dealing with sometimes debilitating and lingering affects from COVID-19 is sharing her story in the hopes others take the virus seriously.

“Some days I just get scared that like what if I never get better,” said Ashleigh Pomerant. who contracted the virus in early June.

“Every time I’d do something small like just hanging out in my friend’s backyard for a couple of hours I’d end up on the couch the whole next day because my legs just hurt way too much and I had really bad headaches.”

The 17-year-old was healthy and active—involved in everything from cross-country to ringette.

Months after getting COVID-19, she is considered a “long-hauler” with symptoms that just will not go away.

“I’d get up to get a snack from my kitchen and I was on our couch in our living room and I’d be so out of breath that it felt like I’d just run up a flight of stairs,” she recalled.

Pomerant wants other people to know the novel coronavirus can hit them just as hard. 

“It just kind of changed me because I can’t do any of the same stuff that I used to be able to do,” she said. “Try and be cautious because even though you’re young and healthy you can still get sick.”

Pomerant’s mom, Michele, knows exactly how her daughter feels because she too is a long-hauler.

“Although I have continued to improve this is now five months later and I’m still not there, I’m still not myself,” said Michele Pomerant.

Their message to others—take COVID-19 seriously. 

“I wasn’t doing risky behaviour, I’m not even sure where I [contracted] this we were pretty locked down ourselves but we were still going grocery shopping and the basics… take it seriously, take all the precautions you can.”

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