'It's heartwarming': Community hosts fundraiser for St. Pete woman who lost legs after COVID complications

A St. Petersburg woman's story inspired many and Friday night the community gathered for a fundraiser in her honor.

Earlier this year 21-year-old Claire Bridges was diagnosed with COVID-19 and had to get both legs amputated due to complications. 

Claire was vaccinated but was born with a heart condition that caused other issues. 

More than two months after being released from the hospital she was able to come out to the fundraiser.

"It's night and day, literally, from being at literally death's doorstep a few times in to see her battle through that and to be with her and see that is a very emotional time for everyone in the family and for her," Wayne Bridges, Claire’s father said.

As Claire reflects on the challenges of the last few months, she said she never gave up.

"I think I grew stronger by knowing that even when tragedy strikes, it's not the end of the world. And you can overcome literally. It just takes a few people to help you," Claire said.

As she continues to recover, her friends organized a fundraiser at Grassroots in Ybor. It will help her with upcoming surgeries and medical expenses. 

"It's very reassuring that we live in a place that can connect like that over people that she doesn't even personally know a lot of the time, you know? So it feels great. It's awesome that I get to be a part of something like this," Andy Beaty, Claire’s best friend and fundraiser organizer, said.

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Money raised will be used for upcoming surgeries and other medical expenses.

"It makes me want to cry because it's just beautiful and it's just wholesome. It's heartwarming. And I love everybody in this community," Claire said.

She’s scheduled to receive prosthetic legs later this month. There are also GoFundMe campaigns setup to assist as well: