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St. Pete 20-year-old who lost both legs to undergo a second surgery

Claire Bridges was born with a serious heart condition. After contracting COVID, she experienced other health issues that led to her legs being amputated.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Family and loved ones of Claire Bridges are praying for her recovery.

In January, Claire felt sick and went to Tampa General Hospital. Her dad, Wayne Bridges, explained Claire was born with a serious heart condition but has been healthy. Claire is now 20 years old and hasn't had any serious health issues, up until now.

After Claire was admitted to Tampa General Hospital in mid-January, she tested positive for COVID and experienced other medical issues. Doctors determined both of her legs needed to be amputated. 

Since the first surgery, there have been more complications involving Claire's legs.

Claire's dad explained the past week has been a tough one for Claire as she is in the hospital with a pacemaker.

"She’s had a rough go of it of late," Wayne Bridges said. "A few little setbacks from her surgery last week. Things that her doctors and medical professionals have been working to correct."

Claire will have another surgery on her legs on Tuesday. After that, her family hopes she can focus on recovering because right now she is still weak.

"She had the help of some nurses that helped her sit up yesterday," Wayne Bridges explained. "She got to sit on the side of the bed. It was a struggle, she couldn’t hold herself up. She said, 'this is awesome,' so she enjoyed moving around."

Claire's dad said her attitude has been positive, but she still has a long road ahead.

"She just says that she’s grateful and thankful for the support. Our goal is just to get her better every day," he added. 

Claire's dad said when the doctors first told Claire both legs had to be amputated, she thanked them for saving her life and she said wanted bionic legs. 

RELATED: UF Report: Omicron wave 'potentially infecting' most of Florida’s population

"She’s a very positive person," Claire's friend and coworker, Heather Valdes, said. "I think if anyone can make the best out of the situation, it would be Claire."

Valdes is also Claire's roommate and set up a GoFundMe to raise money for Claire centered around her living expenses. Shortly after, Claire's dad set one up for her medical expenses. Some of the funds will be used to get Claire bionic legs.

Before the family can focus on Claire's recovery, they need her to pull through her surgeries. 

There will be a fundraiser in St Pete on February 27 at Vertical Ventures. 

RELATED: Tampa doctors to amputate aspiring model's legs as she fights to survive COVID complications

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