Reopen News: Support groups help COVID-19 survivors with lingering symptoms, PTSD

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Online resources can help those people who have been mentally and physically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For virus survivors, the lingering and mysterious symptoms and -- for some -- the near brush with death can be frustrating.

Ken Shah specializes in cardio-pulmonary therapy at Excel Woodbury's Rehabilitation and Nursing Facility. He is also a COVID-19 survivor who tested positive for the novel virus back in April.

Shah now teaches online breathing exercises to help others work their way through the crippling fatigue that he still struggles with two and a half months later.

"But even until today's date, around 6:30, 7 o'clock, I start getting lower back pain," he said. "I get chills. I get headaches."

Shah and others are explaining a new Zoom support group launched by Paragon Management, which manages 10 facilities in both Nassau and Suffolk counties.

"It's free, it's for anybody who would like to join," registered nurse Lisa Penziner said. "Some cases we have depression, we have post-traumatic stress, because we have people that have been hospitalized and whole families that are affected."

Mary Suddell, from Northport, says it was her and five family members, including her 11-month-old grandson, who got COVID-19.

"We felt so isolated and so alone in thinking that we had the plague, you know, that we couldn't tell anyone," Suddell said.

Now, she's donating plasma and taking part in a vaccine study -- trying hard to keep moving forward.

The COVID-19 Support Groups take place on the following dates at the following times:
Tuesday, June 16, at 6 p.m.
Wednesday, July 8, at 6 p.m.
Wednesday, July 22, at 6 p.m.
Wednesday, August 5, at 6 p.m.
Wednesday, August 19, at 6 p.m.

For details on how you can get into a support group, email Lisa.Penziner@paragonmanagementsnf.com or call 516-457-5585.

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