The young woman died on September 13.
Juliana Charlene Nieuwenhuis, who was not vaccinated, was intubated in the intensive care unit at Royal Jubilee Hospital on August 29. It was his 29th birthday. She died two weeks later, on September 13.
“You may not be able to understand the pain and suffering we go through as a family, but you can take steps with a vaccination to make sure the chances of this happening to you or your family are greatly reduced. Said his father, Bill Nieuwenhuis.
Juliana, a photographer and florist from James Bay, was immunocompromised after a kidney transplant as a teenager and chose not to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for fear of possible side effects.
“She was in excellent health before her ongoing battle with COVID-19 and she felt that a vaccination could do more harm, given some [adverse events] people got it when they were vaccinated, ”said Bill Nieuwenhuis. (Province reports rate of 3.2 “serious adverse events” per 100,000 doses, based on 7.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered in British Columbia)
Her father said Juliana was watching out for COVID. She quit her job as a florist in March 2020 to reduce her risk, but heard differing opinions from doctors about vaccination due to the drugs she took to support her kidney, and was deeply affected by the experience of a friend “who almost died from the vaccine,” his father said.
Last week, the province began offering a third dose of the vaccine to the most immunocompromised, those defined as clinically extremely vulnerable – a category Juliana would likely have fallen into.
Bill Nieuwenhuis is doubly vaccinated, but was also not convinced of the severity of the virus for an otherwise healthy individual, especially with a relatively lower COVID-19 count on Vancouver Island.
“I had my own doubts about the severity of COVID-19 as a healthy person and just figured if I did the proper disinfection protocols a bit, only wearing a mask when is mandatory and vaccination to ward off COVID-19, you would be fine, ”he said.
Until now, Nieuwenhuis did not know of any family, friends or work contacts who had had COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
“That has now radically changed, as I see first-hand the damage this virus can cause and the uncertainty among doctors and nurses as to how the virus reacts in each of us,” he said.
As of Wednesday, there were 636 active cases of COVID in the island’s health region, and 35 were in hospital, including 20 in the intensive care unit.
Her father said Juliana began to experience flu-like symptoms that developed into pneumonia, then acute respiratory distress and compromised organs.
“The only option was to sedate her, intubate her and put her on a ventilator,” said Nieuwenhuis, who spoke of the painful experience of being a parent who watches her child deteriorate and who can neither help or hold her.
Early in her hospital stay, Juliana and her father discussed the news that the Pfizer vaccine, initially cleared for emergency use, had just received full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. , and Juliana said “she would make sure it was added to her business.” do when she was better, ”her father said. She never had the chance.
Her family prayed that she would get away with it, but in the end, the virus took her away.
“I hope that this experience of my daughter and our family can be passed on to others who are undecided about a vaccination,” said Nieuwenhuis.
Juliana was a gentle soul who saw goodness in all of God’s creatures, her family said. “Through her eyes, the flowers were brighter and the sky bluer. “
As a photographer she captured the beauty all around her, as a florist she spread joy through her creative arrangements and as a human being she was keen to say something positive about of everyone she knew, her family said.
A private limited occupancy service is arranged for Juliana. Those in attendance were invited to wear something shiny in her honor.