On a normal Christmas, Sarah Casario would be having dinner and spending time with her family.By Nicole Ford

JEANNETTE, Pa. (KDKA) – It’s Christmas Day when families normally gather to celebrate, but much like 2020, this holiday looks different for most people.

“It’s usually my sister, my brother-in-law, my mom and dad. We have dinner together like on Christmas Eve we do pasta because I’m Italian,” said Sarah Casario.

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Casario is 26 years old and this Christmas is inside AHN’s Hempfield Hospital on oxygen battling COVID-19.

“I started getting symptoms, feverish, chills, nauseated, basically every COVID symptom there is. Everyone likes to say it’s like the flu, but I promise it’s not. It’s ten times worse,” Casario said.

With no underlying conditions and no idea where she contracted the virus, she’s staying strong for her family.

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“My mom works on COVID patients, she’s a quality abstracter so she knows what goes on and that’s all she works on is COVID positive people so for her to see me go through something that she’s so familiar with is hard. It puts your family through a lot,” Casario said.

Video calls and window visits are the new traditions for her family. As she aims for a full recovery, this virus has taught Casario a lot.

“Just don’t think this won’t be you because that’s how I felt it won’t ever be me, it won’t happen to me and it did and it’s the worst I’ve ever felt in my life and it’s a serious thing,” Casario said.

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Casario told KDKA she will spread five days in the hospital and hopes to be released early next week.