Oklahoma elementary principal receives new diagnosis in battle against long-term COVID-19 effects

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ENID, Okla. (KFOR) – An Enid elementary school principal who’s been battling rare, long-term COVID-19 side effects for months has now been diagnosed with a rare sleeping disorder. 

“I got thrown a curve ball yesterday and I really just don’t know what my future holds,” Scott Allen, principal of Monroe Elementary School in Enid, told News 4. 

Allen received unfortunate news after meeting with doctors at Integris Cardiology on Wednesday. 

“Looking at my most recent sleep study, it showed that I had central, he said rare, central apnea, which is where the brain is not signaling the muscles around the respiratory system to breathe,” Allen said. 

It’s another setback in a six-month battle for Allen. He’s been battling rare, long-term side effects from COVID-19 since November when he was first diagnosed with the virus. 

“This is a difficult situation,” he said. 

When News 4 spoke with Allen back in December, he was dealing with resting heartrate fluctuation ranging from the 20s to above 170. 

Now, he’s using a wheelchair to get around. 

“The signal for my heart to beat has been stopping occasionally,” Allen said. 

He’s been home from school all this time, away from his students and staff. 

“To see the kids, the way they just admire him. He talks to them, you know, like they’re his own kids,” Annie Gladden, who teaches 4th grade at Monroe, told News 4. “We are all praying daily and hopeful that he’ll return next year and be with us and get back to where things used to be.”

The students have been sending Allen letters and pictures while he’s been gone. 

“I really thought I would get surgery scheduled and I was praying that after surgery, I could get back in there with my kids,” Allen said. 

However, for now, the waiting game continues. 

“I’ll do whatever it takes and that’s what I told all the doctors. Whatever it takes, we’re getting me back,” Said Allen. “The battle is not over until I say it is and I’m gonna rise up in the midst of it.” 

Allen told News 4 the next step will be treatment for the central apnea and then he will have to wear a heartrate monitor once again to determine whether he is still battling a heart block. 

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