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ENID, Okla. (KFOR) – As students prepare to head back to the classroom, kids at one Oklahoma elementary school will soon be greeted by a familiar face.

Scott Allen, principal of Monroe Elementary School in Enid, was diagnosed with COVID-19 in October of 2020.

The educator suffered severe symptoms and fatigue months after his initial diagnosis.

“I never would have thought it would affect me like this,” Allen told KFOR in December.

In fact, he said just functioning was a struggle.

“My lungs, my heart, just overwhelming fatigue,” said Allen. “Just trying to function is a challenge. Walking to the kitchen is a challenge.”

In late December, Allen was dealing with a rare heartrate fluctuation, which caused his resting heartrate to bounce from the 20s to above 170 within minutes.

At the time, doctors weren’t sure if Allen would need a pacemaker due to the damage COVID-19 caused.

In April, Allen was then diagnosed with a rare sleeping disorder.

“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 was yet another setback in Allen’s recovery from COVID-19.

Throughout it all, Allen was focused on getting back to his staff and students at Monroe Elementary.

After 10 months, he has finally received word that he will return to school this year.