State Sen. Deidre Henderson describes ER visits, low oxygen levels during coronavirus recovery

State Sen. Deidre Henderson, R-Spanish Fork and GOP nominee for lieutenant governor, listens as running mate Lt. Governor Spencer Cox speaks during a press conference outside of the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. On Monday, Cox and Henderson were declared the winners in the GOP gubernatorial primary.

(Yukai Peng, KSL, File)



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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah state Sen. Deidre Henderson, running mate to gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, said in a Twitter thread Wednesday that she has required supplemental oxygen during her battle with COVID-19 this month.

Henderson, R-Spanish Fork, also made two emergency room visits last week due to chest pain and shortness of breath, she said.

The state senator began to show symptoms of the new coronavirus after two of her immediate family members tested positive, she announced on Aug. 7. The next day, Henderson said her COVID-19 test had returned positive. "Stay safe out there, everyone," she wrote. "Wear your masks to protect others."

On Wednesday, Henderson said four of her family members also contracted the virus but are now "completely recovered."

"I'm still working on it," she said.

Henderson said Wednesday marked 20 days with the virus; the Utah Department of Health defines "recovered" as anyone who survives three weeks after their positive test. But some patients experience symptoms much longer than that.

Henderson said X-rays revealed inflammation in the lower lobes of her lungs. She was placed on supplemental oxygen at home because any minor exertion was causing shortness of breath. "My 2020 fashion accessory inventory now includes nasal cannulas along with face masks," she wrote.

"Despite this," she said, "I am feeling a little better each day." She expects to be more active soon but also imagines "it will take a bit more time to fully recover from this beating my lungs have taken.

"I'm trying to be patient."

Henderson posted pictures of flowers and cards she's received from well-wishers — including from her opponent for the lieutenant governor's seat, Karina Brown. She also used the posts to celebrate Women's Equality Day.

In a statement, the Cox campaign said Utahns have shown "great resilience" in combating COVID-19 this year and that Henderson "is no different."

"After battling the virus for three weeks, we're optimistic that she will be able to resume her day-to-day activities very soon," the campaign said. "During this time, she has strictly followed quarantine guidelines and has not had any in-person contact with campaign staff. She continues to be the lieutenant governor's closest advisor despite these uncertain circumstances."

The Cox-Henderson ticket will square off against Brown and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Chris Peterson in this November's general election.

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Graham Dudley reports on politics, breaking news and more for KSL.com. A native Texan, Graham's work has previously appeared in the Brownwood (Texas) Bulletin and The Oklahoma Daily.

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