Andrea Helfrich is believed to be the first person connected to the Flyers who has contracted the coronavirus.
Helfrich, 31, the Flyers arena-TV host and Miss Philadelphia 2010, outlined her first six days battling the virus Saturday on Instagram.
In a somber tone, the normally ebullient Helfrich said it was the first day she was able to get out of bed and walk around. “While this was all still fresh, I wanted to document and record how I’ve been feeling, and if it can help anyone who was feeling this way or maybe had the same symptoms,” it would be productive, she said in her post.
She said on Day 1, it felt like she had allergies, with itchy eyes and a sore throat. On Day 2, she had the same symptoms and began feeling lethargic with severe headaches. “They’re not normal headaches," she said, adding they felt like someone was inside her skull “with a hammer, trying to get out. And they’ve only gotten worse.”
On the third day, “I knew something was really wrong and I shut down my world and stayed in bed and slept all day,” Helfrich said. She described her Day 4 headaches as “debilitating,” and said she was "starting to lose my taste, and I had heard a lot of people [with the coronavirus] lost that, so I kind of expected that ... and by Day 5, my sense of smell started going. Today, Day 6, I can’t smell anything. That’s where I’m at. The headaches today have lessened, Thank God, I’m so happy.” But “no matter how much Tylenol I’ve taken, it doesn’t do anything for the headaches.
“Right now,” she added, “the biggest thing I’m feeling is [being] really lethargic. I can’t do much without needing to sit down and close my eyes. Just getting really winded. As far as my chest and my lungs, if I breathe deep and hold it, it feels like when you’re a little kid and you go swimming and swallow too much water, it feels tight [with] pressure and it’s heavy. And if I walk up and down the stairs within the same minute span, I’m completely out of breath."
She said she made the video with the hope that if people contract the coronavirus, it will “help you navigate” what’s going on, but acknowledged it can be "so different for everyone.”
A native of Richboro who attended Council Rock South High and West Chester University, Helfrich was hired by the Flyers before the 2017-18 season. She was crowned Miss Philadelphia while a senior studying broadcast journalism at West Chester. She was also a dancer in college and won the Miss West Chester pageant.
She was an intern at Fox29 and later had a reporting job at Fox40 in upstate New York. Before taking the Flyers job, she worked for a YouTube channel, then started hosting Ultra, the biggest outdoor electronic music festival in the world. She has traveled to about two dozen countries with Ultra.