Now healthy, Tampa's first coronavirus patient stresses importance of isolation

Hillsborough County’s first coronavirus patient says she’s fully recovered and has been cleared by the Florida Department of Health.

“I’m fine. I’m 100 percent. I feel great,” Kaelyn Sheedy told FOX 13 on Wednesday.

It’s a welcome feeling for the 29-year-old sports massage therapist who spent two weeks living with the fast-spreading COVID-19 coronavirus. 

“My first two days with the fever, my eyes were like burning out of my head,” Sheedy recalled.  “I continued to have a fever and my cough turned into a wet cough immediately.  I knew immediately was I started having upper-respiratory issues breathing.” 

RELATED: Track Florida coronavirus cases by county with this interactive COVID-19 map

In the end, she compares coronavirus to a bad flu or light case of pneumonia.  She came down with it during a two-week trek through Europe in mid-February.

During that time she visited Spain, France, and Italy, now one of the hardest-hit nations. 

“My flight back from France, I started not to feel well,” she said. 

At that time, she called the CDC but said they still cleared her to fly from home JFK to Tampa.

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“Looking back, obviously yes, because I was confirmed with the virus, I wish could’ve stayed at JFK and protected the planes that I flew on,” Sheedy told FOX 13. 

Sheedy has since tested negative twice, which is what it takes to be cleared by the health department. 

“I am a healthy individual so I think I had the more mild symptoms,” she offered. 

Sheedy knows, however, that others -- especially the elderly and those with compromised immune systems -- may not bounce back as fast. 

”As healthy individuals, we need to think about everybody as a whole right now. Isolation is so important, quarantining is so important because that’s going to drastically stop the spike in cases that we are seeing.” 

If you feel sick:

The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions around the clock. Questions may also be emailed to Email responses will be sent during call center hours.

LINK: Florida's COVID-19 website

CORONAVIRUS IN FLORIDA: What you need to know


Map of known COVID-19 cases:

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