Dani Lowenstein and his family. Lowenstein has been experiencing long-haul COVID symptoms since falling ill in March 2020. (Contributed)

Dani Lowenstein and his family. Lowenstein has been experiencing long-haul COVID symptoms since falling ill in March 2020. (Contributed)

Over $64,000 raised for former Golden mountain guide COVID-long hauler

“To spend that period of time not being able to connect to nature with your family is really hard.”

Dani Loewenstein has guided tourist through some of the region’s biggest mountains – and it’s his connection to community surely fueling local financial support as he battles complications from COVID-19.

Known as long-haulers, researchers have been focussed on understanding the longterm impacts some are dealing with after they’ve fully recovered from the novel coronavirus.

What initially presented as a heavy flu turned into over a year of a rollercoaster of debilitating symptoms that have left him Loewenstein with brain, heart, lung and nervous system injuries, with Loewenstein saying that he is experiencing upwards of 30 different complications.

His symptoms have kept him out of work since March of last year, when he first got sick, and it continues to effect his day-to-day life.

“It’s prevented me from being able to take part in my family life, to even help out with just daily chores,” said Loewenstein.

“You’re just in bed. You can be vertical, but it’s difficult to even walk at times.”

Connection with family and friends is what he’s missing the most. But despite his challenges, Loewenstein considers himself lucky.

“I’m lucky enough that at my sickest, I’ve been able to feed myself and maintian hygiene. It’s a spectrum of long-haul COVID patients and there’s some people who can’t take care of themselves on a day-to-day basis, so I’m one of the lucky ones,” he said.

After researching available treatments and different approaches to treating post viral illness and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a friend and fellow long hauler discovered the Hoffman Centre for Integrative and Functional Medicine in Calgary, which has been treating complex medical conditions for decades.

Loewenstein then sought treatment there as he believed that the longer he held inflammation in his body from his long-haul condition, the more likely he would suffer permanent damage.

Since April 19, Loewenstein has been undergoing extensive testing and diagnostics at the Hoffman Centre, where he was found to have Mast Cell Activiation Syndrome, mitochondrial dysfunction, pericarditis, costochondritis, brain inflammation and vagus nerve/nervous system dysfunction– the latter of which has affected his vision and led to a learning disability.

More than $64,000 has been raised to date in a GoFundMe to help cover the medical costs for Loewenstein, after being launched by Kristi Easton.

However, through his treatment over the last few weeks, Loewenstein says he’s started to notice a difference, with an increasing ability to handle stimulus and increased energy and mental clarity.

“I’m very, very fortunate to have the Hoffman Centre. About a week after I started I was feeling better than I have in over a year,” said Lowenstein.

It is expected that the treatment will total anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000.

A tribute to his improvement, Lowenstein was able to take part in a camping trip just last week for the first time since he fell ill over a year ago.

“To spend that period of time not being able to connect to nature or with your family is really hard. Going out there, that was like freedom, you know?”

Lowenstein says he’s thankful for the community support he’s received throughout his journey, inspiring him to focus on helping others.

“A huge shoutout to our Golden frontline workers as well, both medical and otherwise, that have had to keep themselves safe through all of this and stay diligent.”

Lowenstein says he hopes his story can be cautionary to those who are not careful. “When people do their risk assessment, they’re just looking at the chance of death, the actual higher likelihood of a bad outcome and becoming a long-hauler is more prevalent than you might think.”

Coronavirus

Just Posted

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

Nelson police say a man attacked two people downtown with bear spray on Wednesday afternoon. File photo
Two people attacked with bear spray in downtown Nelson: police

Police say the three people know each other

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

Most Read