CLEVELAND — Sarah Keil is happy to be back at home after spending two months in the hospital battling COVID-19.
“I almost died twice,” she recalls.
The 43-year-old was diagnosed at the end of May and had chosen not to get vaccinated.
“I have MS, multiple sclerosis. I was scared to get vaccinated,” she said.
It was a decision she regrets.
“I have a lot of regret not getting it. I wish I would’ve got it. Any side effect is worth – if I would’ve even got a side effect, is worth having than going through what I went through,” said Sarah.
Sarah spent a month on a ventilator before starting to show improvement, and her recovery still continues to this day.
“I still have breathing issues. I get out of breath a lot when I walk. I still have some lung issues. I have the COVID cough, they say. The long-term COVID cough. I have depression. I have PTSD. I have short-term and long-term memory loss,” she said.
Narendrakumar Alappan, MD, who is an ICU physician for Cleveland Clinic, said they are mostly seeing unvaccinated patients with severe illness. He added that the vaccine is safe and effective.
“We know from a lot of studies and research which has been done on vaccinated patients, many of the neurological patients are safe to get the vaccine and the incidences of side effects are very, very low. So they would definitely benefit from getting the vaccine,” said Dr. Alappan.
Sarah hopes others will learn from her experience and realize it’s worth it to get vaccinated.
“If I can just change one person to get vaccinated instead of putting themselves through this. Get vaccinated. It’s so worth getting vaccinated,” she pleaded.