Carolina Martinez, 32, of Bastrop, Texas, was not vaccinated when she contracted the virus in April.
Her condition quickly deteriorated, and she was taken to Ascension Seton Medical Center in Austin, where she remained for two-and-a-half months before finally being released in July.
Martinez says she regrets not being vaccinated and is now urging others to get vaccinated to avoid a fate like her own.
Carolina Martinez (pictured), 32, of Bastrop, Texas, was hospitalized for two months for COVID-19 after contracting the virus in April
She was on a ventiator and struggled to breathe throughout her hospital stay (pictured)
Martinez (left) said she was misinformed about the vaccine by things she had seen on social media like Facebook
‘Had I gotten vaccinated, I wouldn’t be in this position that I am now,’ she told KXAN.
‘If you can use me as an example as to how not to do things, please do and go get vaccinated if you can for you and your family.’
Martinez pointed to misinformation on social media for the reason many like herself do not get vaccinated.
‘I think that there’s a lot of misleading information out there,’ she said.
‘People need to really do their own research and listen to healthcare professionals rather than people posting things on Facebook that might not be true.
‘I thought Covid wasn’t going to affect me. So I didn’t take the measures that I needed to take in order to stay healthy. And then here I am.’
Pregnant women like Martinez are considered to be at an increased risk of complications from COVID-19.
While the vaccines are eligible to pregnant women, before last week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told expecting mothers to discuss getting vaccinated with their doctor before receiving the shots due potential long term concerns.
New guidance from the CDC, now urging expecting mothers to get jabbed, comes as cases among pregnant women are surging.
Carolina Martinez (pictured) now requires an oxygen machine and wheelchair to go through daily life
Dr Jeny Ghartey, the maternal medical director at Ascension, told KXAN that her hospital has seen many pregnant women arrive extremely ill.
‘They’re needing oxygen right away as opposed to coming in with some of the more milder symptoms at first,’ she said.
Ghartey also said that all pregnant women who have been admitted to the hospital due to COVID-19 were unvaccinated.
According to official CDC data, only 23.3 percent of pregnant women are vaccinated.
The figure is dwarfed by the general population, where 70 percent of eligible Americans have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine.
‘The last couple of weeks, I have seen a tremendous increase in the number of cases and hospitalizations, especially young, healthy pregnant women — all unvaccinated,’ Dr Madeline Kaye, an OB-GYN at Renaissance Women’s Group in Austin, told KXAN.
‘I am seeing (and feeling) tremendous burnout among healthcare workers with this new surge in cases.
It is entirely preventable. It is incredible that scientists were able to develop such an effective vaccine and so disheartening that so many people will not take it.
‘It feels like this pandemic will never end because we will never reach herd immunity and will just keep getting new variants.’
The recent surge of cases is being felt across the country, not just by pregnant women, and it is largely fueled by the Indian ‘Delta’ variant.
Cases in the United States have grown by 616 percent since the start of July, with the country now averaging 141,000 new cases every day.
Martinez was released from the hospital in July after having been admitted since she contracted COVID-19 in April. Pictured: Martinez checks out of Ascension Seton Medical Center in Austin, Texas.
Martinez is pregnant and is expected to deliver in the coming weeks. Pictured: Martinez celebrates her return home with her family in Bastrop, Texas
This is the highest average the country has reached since February 2, when the U.S. was on the backside of the largest Covid surge the nation has yet faced.
The surge in cases is causing many hospitals around the country to run short on capacity to deal with patients like Martinez.
After her experience in the hospital, Martinez chose to get vaccinated to protect herself from even being besieged by the virus again.
She now requires an oxygen machine to breathe and uses a wheelchair or a walker to get around.
Martinez expects to give birth in the coming weeks, but said she fears her experience in the hospital could have negative effects on the baby and on herself.
‘Every day is a challenge. It’s not easy,’ she told KXAN.
‘Now everything is a challenge – brushing my teeth, my hair, getting from the living room to the kitchen table. It’s been hard, but I’m alive.
‘And I’m so grateful to be here. And so I’m happy. I’m extremely happy to just be here with my family and have the opportunity to see them.’
Source: Health & wellbeing | The Guardian