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Rancho Cordova man who beat coronavirus helps create coalition for other survivors

Justin Wilhite got sick in March 2020 and nearly five months later, he still feels symptoms from the disease. That's why he wants to help others like him.

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. — A Rancho Cordova man who survived the coronavirus is now aiming to help others like him by forming a coalition of survivors.

Justin Wilhite said the long-term effects of the virus are difficult and many symptoms still linger. 

"I'm kind of sick of being sick at this point and it's been a long time since I've been healthy," Wilhite said. 

Wilhite, 39, survived the coronavirus. ABC10 spoke with him in March when he was at his worst. 

Wilhite said he had a hard time getting a test at first and was in and out of the hospital. Eventually, he said he tested positive and recovered at home. But still, nearly five months later, he isn't 100 percent. 

"I truly didn't expect for this to last as long," Wilhite said.

He has lung damage, he can't walk long distances without getting winded, he has severe brain fog and upper respiratory issues. 

"I didn't expect it to affect my life as deeply as it has," he added. 

Wilhite knows he's not alone, which is why he is helping to create the Coalition For COVID-19 Recovery, Prevention, and Support

Their goal is to educate, help those impacted by the virus and their families, and work with health care providers and industry experts to learn more about the virus, how to stop it, and cure it. 

"Something positive has come out of a terrible negative that has affected me every day of my life since March 6," Wilhite said. 

He hopes to help people navigate through life post-COVID-19.

"I want to be able to share the story of people who are currently sick and what they are dealing with or who are like me who have been sick since March, who are looking for support, [who are asking] why am I still sick, why is this happening to me?" Wilhite explained.

He may not have the answer on his own but he's found support with other COVID-19 survivors on twitter who continue to lift him up after he shared his COVID-19 journey with thousands.

Continue the conversation with Madison on Facebook.

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