CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – At 26 years old, this isn’t the life Samantha Leszkowicz imagined for herself. “Before all this, I was living my best life, honestly.

And then when I got sick, it was like a cement truck came at me head on,” recalls Samantha. She was diagnosed with COVID-19 back in March of 2020 and has been dealing with health issues ever since.

“I’ve been falling frequently. I’ve been getting muscle tremors I’m just dead tired, I’ll end up with fevers, night sweats, chills, all the same symptoms I had before,” she said.

It’s been so bad she had to give up her career as a nurse.

“I was always one to help others and be there for others and now I can’t really do that anymore,” she said.

Samantha said all these changes have taken a huge toll on her mental health, which is why she decided to join a virtual support group for COVID long-haulers at Cleveland Clinic.

“The purpose of the group is really just to provide a space for support so that people don’t feel alone,” explained Kia-Rai Prewitt, PhD, psychologist with Cleveland Clinic.

“One of the things we have heard quite a bit from people with long-haul COVID is that they often feel isolated.”

Samantha says it felt good realizing she isn’t alone and hopes one day her life, and others, will go back to normal.

“Hopefully this will just be a little bump in the road. Hopefully we can figure this out,” she said.

Dr. Prewitt noted while the support group can be beneficial, it is not a replacement for individualized therapy.