Broward couple coping with coronavirus after Italy trip

Annual ski excursion turns into COVID-19 nightmare

PARKLAND, Fla. – Nick and Lonni Cibants go to the same area to ski every year, but this year they came back feeling sick.

They went to South Tyrol, a province in northeast Italy, known for its steep slopes and views of the Dolomites. It was the end of February. Little did they know that soon after the area would become a COVID-19 hot spot.

“We left on the seventh of March and it was the seventh of March that I woke up and told my husband that I felt rundown,” said Lonni.

They thought it was the flu, but when they started feeling worse, they called the Florida Department of Health. They were directed to an emergency room to get tested. Lonni said Nick tested positive, she was not.

“I had to come home by myself and contemplate for the first time that I may never see him again,” said Lonni, who is quarantined in her Parkland home. She is separated from her husband, Nick, who is isolation at Broward Health Coral Springs. Lonni was told that she probably had a false negative, so she needed to quarantine.

Lonni said her husband has pneumonia and that he is struggling, but getting better.

The couple remains apart but they are hopeful. She said Nick is getting stronger every day and both are expected to make a full recovery. Lonni said she believes the symptoms of coronavirus are worse than the flu.

“The virus is here and it is going to infect more people. Be smart about it,” Lonni advised. “Wash your hands, don’t congregate in large groups of people. Just hunker down for a while so we can all get on the other side of this and get our lives back to normal.”

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