Odessa Triathlete on the Mend After Contracting Covid Variant


ODESSA, TX -- After weeks of uncertainty, Odessa triathlete Jerry Tschauner seems to be on the mend after contracting the coronavirus.

According to Tschauner's mother, Penny Roberts, he contracted a variant strain of the virus after visiting Brazil.

Tschauner spent weeks on a ventilator and his condition was described as critical. The day after  Easter his condition worsened and his family was not sure if he would recover.

“We didn’t know if he was going to make it. I knew what Mary felt like the day that Jesus was put in the tomb. My heart has been crushed," said Roberts.

Now the triathlete has is out of the ICU and can breathe without the help of a ventilator. Tschauner can communicate with his mother over FaceTime in a limited way, but it is a huge improvement from a few weeks ago.

Tschauner has a long road ahead of him as he works to regain control over his speech and motor functions. But even with the prospect of a long recovery, the athlete is already planning to run a marathon after he is back to 100 percent.

In an effort to show Tschauner the network of family, friends, and strangers who are rooting for him, his mother shared his cellphone number for anyone interested in sending him an encouraging message. The number is 432-880-9420.

“That’s worth everything right there when you pray,” said Roberts. “Y’know people from all over the world—one girl came up to me at La Bodega and said I’ve been praying for your son. I didn’t know her from Adam. But she knew my son.”

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