FARGO, N.D. — Over the last year and a half, hundreds of patients have come through the doors of COVID-19 units at local hospitals. It's rare for a nurse of physician to ever see survivors once they get better and are discharged, but one patient wanted to say "thanks" to those who took care of her during a life changing, 8-month-long stay.

Diane Sherman of Valley City is still fighting off the "long hauler" impacts of COVID-19, including shortness of breath and tachycardia. The 64-year-old, along with dozens of others, spent months fighting for her life in the COVID-19 unit at Fargo's Sanford Medical Center.

"There was one night, I heard a code called on the floor and that made me nervous," Sherman said. "When the nurses came back I asked how old was that person, and they said in their 60s and I thought "that's me.""

But Sherman returned to the COVID-19 unit to thank Dr. Chris Pribula, one of the people who helped get her home.

"I don't have the COVID hair anymore," said Sherman as she greeted Pribula. "Thank you for all you did. You are welcome. More than welcome."

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"It is rewarding to see that, how the story ends, because most of the time I don't get that," said Pribula.

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Sherman is now trying to get back to work, but the long term effects of COVID-19 are real. She spent two and a half months on oxygen.

"It is always one of those things we talk about," said Pribula. "It is not just people who pass away from this, but what kind of issues will we deal with this, the long-lasting effects and will we ever recover from this?"

For now, Sherman's goal is to keep moving forward and keep COVID-19 in the rearview mirror.

As of Monday, July 19, Sanford in Fargo had six patients in its COVID-19 unit.