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

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

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

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Aerial view of a wildfire at 16 Mile, 11 kilometres northwest of Cache Creek, that started on the afternoon of June 15. (Photo credit: BC Wildfire Service)
Wildfire at 16 Mile now being held

Wildfire started on the afternoon of June 15 at 16 Mile, east of Highway 97

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

Most Read