Sharlene Amerl, from Sooke on Vancouver Island, had leukemia at age six and worried about how she would react to the ingredients in COVID vaccines.
She said messages posted on the internet appeared to confirm her fears.
Even though she was advised to get the vaccine and was assured it was safe, Amerl decided not to do it for herself and her 13-year-old daughter.
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However, when her daughter contracted COVID a few days later, Amerl started to get really sick.
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“I fell with a really big headache behind my eyes, cold, chills, and it just started to progress from there,” she said from her hospital bed on Thursday as she struggled to breathe and speak.
“I was very nervous and scared inside, but I tried to stay positive, it was just a cold. “
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She said she became so weak so quickly that she could only sleep about 20 hours a day. She said she was taking vitamins and staying hydrated but nothing was working.
“I chose, unfortunately, not to get the vaccine, because I thought I could beat the odds but also because I was terrified of the information I had read online about the potential side effects that seemed to have affected certain people and which frightened the living. out of me, ”she said.
“Unfortunately, I chose not to get the vaccine. “
Amerl said she eventually went to a COVID testing center and tested positive, along with her daughter. Her 10-year-old son was negative.
Her doctor then told her to isolate herself from her children and drink fluids, which she did, but she became even sicker.
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“I called the paramedics twice, two days apart and they both said ‘you seem to be doing your own thing, the hospitals are so full, just try if you can.’ “
She said she had no one to look after her children but on Monday morning when she woke up she could barely breathe or walk.
“I knew I was in danger so I called 9-1-1 and the paramedics came and thank goodness… they looked at me and knew I needed help right now.
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Amerl was able to secure a bed at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria and is lucky that he did not need to be intubated. “But I was close,” she said, “and it’s going to take a while before I’m better. But I’m still alive.
“And I’m going to be able to hold my children again, I can’t wait for that.” “
She shares her story because she said that “the fear of getting the vaccine, the fear of not getting the vaccine, everything else, all the worries that we go through” are real.
“Looking back, I wish I had the vaccine because I might not be here right now with COVID. “
Amerl said she wasn’t sure if sharing her story would help anyone, but she hopes it does.
“I hope you never have to go through COVID because it’s wrong and there is no resistance. Believe me, I tried.
As of Thursday, 87.3 percent (4,046,960) of eligible people aged 12 and older in British Columbia received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 79.9 percent (3,701,696) received their second dose.
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Of all eligible adults in British Columbia, 87.8% (3,799,479) received their first dose and 80.7% (3,490,764) received both necessary injections.
On Thursday, however, British Columbia recorded more than 800 new cases of COVID and five more deaths.
There are now 330 people hospitalized, including 148 in intensive care.
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