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Missoula man with compromised immune system taking extra precautions

Posted at 4:43 PM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 08:39:34-04

MISSOULA — Those most at risk amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic are being urged to stay inside, one Missoula man with a compromised immune system is taking extra precautions.

Phil Stempin is immunocompromised. "I just can't go out, I can't be around other people. The consequences would be way too severe," said Stempin.

He's spent the past week under self-quarantine, and has only left his house once, to go for a drive.

"I have moments of extreme panic, I have moments where I'm doing okay. It's super scary right now, and we're doing what we can," said Stempin.

He's doing his best to stay positive. Stempin has chronic pain and Stage 4 pulmonary sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease, in his lungs.

"At points I was literally coughing up chunks of my lung," said Stempin whop receives infusions once a month to stop the spread of the disease.

During this coronavirus pandemic, Stempin and his wife are taking extra precautions.

"She has a little cough, we're not sure what's going on, so she's in a tent in the basement," said Stempin.

They recently started remodeling the basement, but are trying to keep extra distance right now.

"In the past if she had a cold or something like that she would be able to go stay other places. But right now, because it's so serious, there's really not a lot of other options," said Stempin.

Stempin says he's playing music, working from home, and trying to keep a routine.

He is urging Missoulians to practice social distancing, not just for yourself but for everyone else in the community.