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

The ‘official’ opening of 2nd Edition Coworking in downtown Fernie, a project five years in the making by the Fernie Chamber of Commerce. Left to right: Executive Director of the Fernie Chamber Brad Parsell, incoming President of the Fernie Chamber Norm Fraser, outgoing President of the Fernie Chamber Anita Palmer, and Mayor of Fernie Ange Qualizza. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Fernie Chamber cuts the ribbon on 2nd Edition

The new coworking space in Fernie is now ‘officially’ open, but has been operating since early 2021

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Sparwood Mayor David Wilks with the new AED SaveStation installed at the Sparwood Leisure Centre. (Contributed by District of Sparwood)
Sparwood installs public AED

The SaveStation was installed thanks to a grant from CP Rail

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

(File)
“Gift card scam,” and “grandparent scam” are on the rise, Cranbrook RCMP say

Folks are falling for these scams: “No Government agency or reputable company will ever ask anyone to pay with gift cards in lieu of their fines”

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Denmark soccer player Christian Eriksen collapses during game against Finland

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

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

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Condolences pour in for Kathy Richardson, Naramata’s 3rd homicide victim in recent weeks

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

Most Read