WESTFIELD, NJ -- John Mirrione holds the world record for completing the most one-arm, one-leg pushups in 30 seconds: 42. The 55-year-old karate teacher from Westfield can now also list among his accomplishments that he has fully recovered from coronavirus.
During the last week of April, Mirrione, who is the founder/director of Harmony By Karate, began to suffer what he thought were seasonal allergies. It turned out to be far more serious. He developed a 104 degree fever, felt lightheaded, and he suffered extreme muscle fatigue and joint pain from head to toe.
“It felt like my organs were turned inside-out,” said Mirrione.
He contacted his doctor, who diagnosed him with COVID-19.
Mirrione does not know how he contracted the virus. He said that he followed all state and local guidelines, only going out to get food and other essentials, and to exercise and walk his dogs. He remained at home to fight his illness, which lasted about eight days.
“Three of the days I thought I was not going to make it,” said Mirrione. “It had to do with all the pain in my body, but especially the pressure in my lungs. It extended to my back, and I felt it inside of me.”
It wasn't the first time Mirrione has had to deal with serious respiratory issues. As a medical supervisor in the Air Force during the Gulf War in 1990, he contracted parasitic pneumonia. He was hospitalized for eight days in the ICU, requiring the aid of oxygen.
While he made a full recovery from that illness, he knew that his lungs were more vulnerable to a severe case of COVID-19.
Mirrione’s recovery plan from the coronavirus consisted of good old-fashioned care. His wife, Juju Love, is a naturopathic doctor, who gave him herbs in soups and in teas that he believes bolstered his immune system. She also gave him a regimen of vitamins, including heavy doses of vitamin C.
Mirrione ate plenty of nutritious food and got ample sleep. He also continued to practice a deep breathing technique that has always been part of his exercise and spiritual regimen called chi fung, taught to him by his mentor and martial arts legend Leo Fong. Mirrione believes the deep breathing helped to clear his lungs and get oxygen into his blood stream while he was battling the virus.
Eventually, Mirrione began to feel better and regain his strength and energy.
“When the fever subsided from the night sweats, I started to feel some sense of relief. At that moment I thought I was going to live,” he said.
Mirrione is back to teaching private and group karate classes on the teleconferencing platform Zoom. He has even resumed his own specialized method of Harmony by Karate training, which integrates chi fung, yoga and karate. Most importantly, he is again an integral part in the lives of his wife and children.
“During that time, I was involved in my own battle,” said Mirrione. “I had to go into my inner soul and deal with my own struggles as it pertains to the coronavirus.”
“I was concerned, but ready,” said Mirrione. “I viewed this pandemic from the start as a spiritual pandemic that our collective conscious co-created to cleanse our planet and our souls.”
A frequent to TAPinto Westfield, Mike Cohen is the founder and director of Throwback Sports (a sports and educational program for people of all abilities) and the sports editor of Education Update. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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