In late July, seven members of my family ages 7 to 68 tested positive for COVID-19.
Two had little or no symptoms. Two had fairly severe symptoms. One spent two nights in the hospital. And two are still hospitalized.
My wife, Nancy, entered Grangeville’s Syringa Hospital and Clinics on Aug. 2. She was transferred to St. Luke’s Nampa Medical Center in Nampa on Aug. 7 by Life Flight.
Her condition continued to worsen. She was on max high flow oxygen. They were ready to move her to the intensive care unit and place her on a ventilator. On Aug. 10, her doctor tried a recently approved monoclonal antibodies drug.
She immediately began to improve.
She could not sit up in a chair or stand without her oxygen level dropping too low. Since then, she has improved slowly until she moved back to Syringa for rehabilitation on Aug. 28. We don’t know how long rehab will take or what the final outcome will be.
Our son, John, entered Clarkston’s Tri-State Memorial Hospital on July 31 and was transferred by Life Flight to St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center on Aug. 9. He was put on a ventilator for the flight and remained on the vent until Aug. 21. He was kept unconscious for 10 days while the vent allowed his lungs to rest. He was in very critical condition for this time.
On Aug. 17, they started weaning him off the vent. That is a process that takes three to seven steps during several days. His first try went as expected and the second try was very poor. On the third try they expected him to breathe on his own for a half-hour. He did it for 3½ hours.
They were totally amazed. It was the best they had ever seen done at that stage.
Once he was off the ventilator, he continued to improve fairly quickly. However, he remained in ICU until Aug. 27. They will continue to monitor him and I suspect send him for rehab in a few days.
I think I have aged 10 years in the past month watching my family suffer while I could do nothing about it.
Why am I not sick, too? Online sources say people with Type A blood have a 50 percent greater chance of getting COVID-19 and having serious complications while people with Type O blood have a 50 percent less chance. I have Type O. John and Nancy have Type A.
And maybe it’s just luck of the draw or other factors.
I want to publicly thank all the doctors and staff at both Tri-State Memorial Hospital and Syringa Hospital. They were all very professional, considerate and understanding. They recognized the needs of their patients. And when it became necessary, they had them moved to hospitals with greater means of treatment.
I believe my wife and son are both still alive because of the good judgment and the treatment they received at these local hospitals. We are lucky to have such great facilities and great medical professionals close by.
Please learn from my experience. Don’t risk your life or that of your family unnecessarily.
Sure there is a risk with the vaccine, but it is small. The delta variant of COVID-19 is a huge monster waiting to kill you.
Use your head. You trust your doctors for lots of other things. Trust them on this.
Please get the shots.
If you still refuse the vaccine, be aware: The delta COVID-19 variant usually presents with a dry cough with fever and shortness of breath.
If you get these symptoms, head immediately to the doctor you didn’t trust before.
He or she may still be able to save you.
Brandt lives in Kooskia.