An emergency room nurse from Marshalltown calls it a “stupid” move on her part to put off getting the COVID-19 vaccine, since she later came down with the virus which could have killed her.
Thirty-nine-year-old Julie Stevens tested positive for COVID in August, then was diagnosed with pneumonia and had a 104-degree temperature. Stevens was hospitalized for five days, then moved to the ICU at Mary Greeley Hospital in Ames and had to be intubated.
As a nurse, Stevens says she knew the medical terms the doctors were using to talk about her and she knew it was, in her word, grim. “Am I gonna wake up weeks later, here, am I gonna wake up in a couple of days or am I gonna wake up at all?” Stevens says. “I ended up only having to be intubated for three days and I did well. I’m at home now and I do use some home oxygen still. It’s going to be a long journey back to baseline for me.”
The nurse at UnityPoint Health in Marshalltown delayed getting vaccinated, figuring she wouldn’t lose much more time if she came down with COVID, as opposed to the side effects of getting the shot. The virus hit Stevens especially hard and it’s unclear why.
“The doctors that were involved there at Mary Greeley did talk a lot about I’m young, healthy, don’t have any underlying conditions,” she says, “and sometimes that can be even worse because your body tends to kind of over-react.” Stevens says the reaction to her story has been mixed. Many are supportive of her battle, while some have been critical.
“How I’m a health care worker and didn’t get the vaccine and how stupid that was, which, I’ll agree with them, that was very negligent on my part because I did use a lot of resources,” Stevens says. “I took an ICU bed, I took nursing care, I took all of those things that could have been used for other people with other conditions.”
Stevens tells folks not follow her example. She urges people to do the research — and get the vaccine.
(By Ken Huge, KFJB, Marshalltown)