COVID survivor urges others to get vaccinated after ventilator treatment
COVINGTON COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - A Seminary man is urging others to get a COVID-19 vaccination after spending time on a ventilator, two months after his wedding.
Isaiah Dennis, 21, according to his wife, Abby, 19, had never seemed to be sick, aside from a stuffy or runny nose every once in a while.
“I’ve seen him maybe get like a stuffy nose or a runny nose but that’s about like the extent of it,” said Abby. “He’s never really been sick, this is our first time with ever getting sick and it hit him hard.”
Two months after the couple got married, Isaiah was diagnosed with COVID-19 and started to develop pneumonia.
Within a week of his diagnosis, Isaiah was admitted into Forrest General Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit in Hattiesburg and placed on a ventilator to help him breathe.
Isaiah spoke about what was going through his mind when he was placed on a ventilator.
“I guess I’ve always taken breathing for granted until you actually get put on the ventilator, and that’s the first time I’ve ever actually thought to myself, ‘This is it,’ because me not even being able to control when I breathe and when I don’t breathe, it breathes for you,” said Isaiah.
Reflecting on his time on the ventilator, Isaiah questioned if he would survive having COVID.
“And I asked the doctor, I said, ‘Am I going to make it?’ And she said, ‘We’re doing everything we can.’ She said, ‘Just breathe and be relaxed and calm and breathe with the machine. You have to breathe with it,’” Isaiah said.
“That was the scary part, being put on the ventilator. That was, in my mind, when I thought the vaccine might not be a bad idea.”
While Isaiah was in the hospital, Abby anxiously waited at home, not being able to visit him.
“I asked his doctor, I said, ‘He’s going to make it, right?’,” said Abby. “And he said, ‘Mrs. Dennis, I can’t give you false hope. I can’t tell you something that I don’t know.’ And it broke me. It was hard.”
After six days in the hospital, Isaiah was able to come back home.
Since recovering from his COVID diagnosis, Isaiah has a new outlook on receiving a vaccination shot.
“As far as the COVID shot goes, my take on it before I got put in the hospital was, ‘It’s new.’ I don’t know much about it. I didn’t really take an interest in it because I didn’t see it so serious,” Isaiah said.
“But after it all happened, after I got COVID and we went through it, I started thinking, ‘You know, as far as COVID goes, if I can prevent getting it as severe, if I were to get it next time, or as far as leading it to her and her getting it, it would be dumb not to get vaccinated.”
The couple is now encouraging their friends and family to get vaccinated after what Isaiah went through.
“After our situation, I said, ‘I want to get vaccinated,’” said Abby. “‘If I have the opportunity to just take a simple shot to lessen your symptoms, my symptoms, why wouldn’t you take it, you know?’”
More than 95% of new COVID-19 cases are being diagnosed in unvaccinated people, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health.
Holding steady to his faith, Isaiah does believe there is an option to control the spread of COVID-19, especially among young adults.
“I am a firm believer in the Lord, and I believe that he has a plan and there’s nothing we can do to stop the plan,” said Isaiah. “But we can prevent thing, in my opinion, you know, especially as far as COVID goes because it’s spreading within our age group fast.”
To schedule a vaccination appointment, click here.
For more information on COVID-19 vaccinations in Mississippi, visit MSDH’s Vaccination Against COVDI-19 webpage.
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