Lightning’s Sonya Bryson-Kirksey, battling COVID, leaves ICU

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TAMPA – Sonya Bryson-Kirksey took a step in the right direction on Wednesday morning.

The singer of the US national anthem of the Lightning, who has been hospitalized since July 16 to fight the coronavirus, was released from the intensive care unit after her fever broke, according to close family friend Thomas Schooley .

A week after being transferred to the intensive care unit, Bryson-Kirksey is back in a regular hospital room to work on his breathing and lungs, Schooley told the Tampa Bay Times in an SMS.

Bryson-Kirksey, 54, was hospitalized with COVID-19 pneumonia four days after the Lightning Stanley Cup boat parade.

The Lightning community rallied around Bryson-Kirksey, creating a GoFundMe account that raised over $ 18,500 and designing a t-shirt with the proceeds going towards fundraising.

Bryson-Kirksey, who sang the U.S. national anthem before the Lightning games at Amalie Arena for eight seasons, was fully vaccinated in March. But underlying health issues, such as multiple sclerosis, have made her more susceptible to the virus.

Shortly after her admission to the hospital, she encouraged others to get vaccinated.

“Beg people not to let their pride keep them from getting the vaccine,” she said, “to protect people like me who really can’t fight for themselves. “

Florida set a daily record for coronavirus cases on Saturday, according to CDC data, with 21,683 new cases, the highest one-day total since the start of the pandemic. The state also leads the country for children hospitalized with the coronavirus.

Contact Mari Faiello at [email protected]. To pursue @faiello_mari.

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