Road to recovery: North Riverside woman shares monthlong battle with COVID-19

NORTH RIVERSIDE, Ill. (WLS) -- A North Riverside woman is still battling COVID-19 exactly one month after she started showing symptoms.

Medical assistant Dena Albano, 37, said she knows she's one of the lucky ones.

"I don't wish this upon anybody and I feel terrible for anyone that has lost somebody for COVID-19," Albano said.

Albano believes she caught the virus while on the job. She said the symptoms of the virus hit her quickly.

"The body aches were unbearable and having a fever and not being able to like move or get out of bed," Albano said. "You're constantly trying to figure out if you want a blanket on or if you want to go jump in the shower somewhere, you know it was just, it was horrible."

Despite the fast onset symptoms, the virus lingered for weeks.

Albano said she only started to feel better last week, on her 25th day of battling the virus.

"I'm just constantly coughing up stuff and it's just then, you know, and the pain in the back comes again so it's just, it's a little overwhelming. It's like when is it going to end? That's what I just don't understand about this virus," she said.

Albano said the worst part has been not being able to see her family or friends. But she said the support was always there, even if socially distant.

"I ended up doing a Zoom the other night with my girlfriends and we were at it, three hours so. And we just laughed the whole time so it was good to like be able to see the girls even though they weren't with you," Albano said.

She hopes those who are still battling COVID-19 stay strong, and those who don't have the virus stay home.

"Why lose more people when you know people are already dying?" she said.

While she's not feeling 100% back to health, Albano said she's thankful she's on the road to recovery, knowing this could have ended much differently.
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