COVID long hauler continues fighting to overcome disease years after diagnosis
The COVID-19 pandemic may have ended, but some long haulers are still fighting to overcome the disease.
Nick Bauso is a COVID long hauler who has spent much of his three-year journey at Friedwald Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in New City.
It's now time for him to go home.
MORE: GoFundMe for Nick Bauso
It was a homecoming his fellow New York City Sanitation workers say is a miracle, knowing what Bauso survived and being among the first in the region to contract COVID.
"On March 16, 2020, I wasn't feeling well, and I went to Bronxville hospital in Westchester," he said. "The nurse asked me what was the matter and I said I couldn't breathe…and I remember collapsing."
Bauso was placed into a medically-induced coma and put on a ventilator.
He woke up in July to a new reality - long COVID, which is when symptoms last months after first contracting the virus.
"He was hit pretty hard with COVID, and he developed interstitial lung disease, so his lungs actually just became more stiff," says David Zidile, director of respiratory at the Friedwald Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing.
Zidile is among the doctors who joined Bauso's fight for recovery.
It is a crusade News 12 began documenting back in 2021 when Nick was still confined to a bed.
Bauso started going to therapy and now he can walk with the help of a walker.
He also married his longtime girlfriend soon after waking up from a coma - she's an ICU nurse.
Two weeks after he moved back into his Bronx home, News 12 paid him a visit.
He requires oxygen around the clock, and now needs a lung transplant.
Bauso will have to be able to walk on his own for several minutes to become eligible for the transplant list. He has applied for an intensive in-hospital physical therapy program.