Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, we have seen and heard of heartbreaking stories of patients that passed away or suffered tremendously in the ICU, but despite that, a lot of people are still not getting vaccinated because they think that such stories are just hoaxes and the virus is not a real thing.
A man from Seattle, USA, was one of those people, but everything changed when he got the virus and ended up inside an ICU.
Recently, Richard Soliz, a former COVID patient, returned to the hospital to apologize to the medical staff who helped him recover for not getting vaccinated.
Soliz said that he did not know anyone that had gotten sick from the virus, which is why he did not get vaccinated.
Not only that, but he also said that he fell prey to misinformation on social media about the vaccine.
In August, his temperature spiked and was having a hard time breathing.
During an interview with KOMO, he said:
That’s when I really knew I was in a bad situation. That’s when I knew, hey, this is COVID. Man. I contracted the virus.
Soliz said that he was embarrassed when the staff at the Harborview Medical Center in Seattle asked him if he was vaccinated.
Pulmonologist and director of the ICU Dr. James Town said that around 99 of 100 coronavirus patients at Harborview Medical Center are not vaccinated.
Soliz spent 28 days in the hospital.
At one point, he was placed on a ventilator and had a heart monitor as doctors believed that he would not make it.
Talking about the virus, he said:
I am certain that there is truth to this virus, and not being vaccinated leaves you vulnerable to the extent of possibly really taking a person’s life. I personally know that, because I was not vaccinated. I did not act, I wasn’t certain, and I nearly lost my life.
Soliz made it through and got home, but what he did after recovering is something that not many survivors do.
Soliz returned back to the hospital to thank the medical team that had treated him and apologize for not getting vaccinated.
During an interview with CNN, he said:
I was literally on my deathbed and hanging from a string, and [doctors and nurses] tended to me as perfect strangers. I just had to say something.
Soliz also thanked Dr. Town and told him that he regrets not getting the vaccine for the disease.
Town told him that he’s happy that he is willing to share the story.
He told Soliz:
No one blames you or judges you. Everyone is just happy that you are willing to share the story, I think. And happy that you’re better.
Nurses and other staff members at the hospital were moved by the apology and gratitude of Soliz.
Kimmy Siebens, a nurse at the hospital, said:
We do put so much of our own heart into the care and worry. We never really get to see people get that much better. And so it’s amazing. It makes it feel like it’s definitely all worth it, you know?
Soliz is now urging everyone to get vaccinated because the virus is real.