Unvaccinated mother almost died from Covid before an elderly man offered to give her his ventilator to give her a better chance of survival. The woman lost her voice and had to relearn to walk in daily physical therapy sessions after fighting for her life in hospital. She is urging others to get the COVID-19 vaccine after being discharged from the hospital and getting both doses of the vaccine.
The 56-year-old woman from Minnesota, Michelle Fluegge, shared a photo of herself lying unconscious with tubes in her nose after catching the virus in September, according to reports.
The mother of two reportedly lost her voice and had to relearn to walk in daily physical therapy sessions after fighting for her life in hospital. Fluegge is urging others to get the COVID-19 vaccine after being discharged from the hospital and getting both doses of the vaccine.
According to reports, the 56-year-old woman reportedly said she initially felt like she was getting better before her blood oxygen level plummeted on day six of the illness.
The woman and her husband Greg were unvaccinated when she contracted the virus. Fluegge was taken to a hospital where doctors diagnosed her with pneumonia and said she needed a ventilator. Fluegge’s sons thought their mother was going to die when it took hours to find a machine.
According to reports, one ventilator became available at another hospital, but the 56-year-old woman was not the only patient in line for it. There was an older gentleman that was supposed to take that ventilator and Fluegge was younger.
Scott, Fluegge’s son, reportedly said:
“He said ‘if anybody’s going to survive it’s going to be her. Don’t take me, take her’. Her lungs were severely damaged. So we essentially said our goodbyes.”
The 56-year-old woman, who has diabetes, was placed on the lone ventilator but her family was warned she might not make it after several days on the ward. She still has difficulties to breath when standing for more than 10 minutes
After three weeks on the ventilator, the doctors told the family that Fluegge was going to make it and come off the ventilator. In the next few weeks, the 56-year-old woman relearned how to walk and regain her voice until she was finally able to return home on November 20.
According to reports, Fluegge’s children reportedly said:
“Mom wanted us to share this picture of her to show what it looks like to be on a ventilator. None of us knew what it was like beforehand and she wants the message to be heard that getting vaccinated is important not only to you as an individual, but to the loved ones around you.”
The 56-year-old woman said that she and her husband Greg did not avoid the COVID-19 vaccine because they are antivaxxers, but because they had not been very exposed in their small town of 10,000 people and simply did not see an immediate need.
Fluegge reportedly said:
“We didn’t know enough about it. We were scared. A lot of people in our small town just weren’t getting vaccinated and my kids were wanting us to, but they live out of state. And, I don’t know, we just weren’t secure yet. But I really wish we would’ve. I wouldn’t have had ended up how I was.”
Fluegge received her second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in December.
A GoFundMe Page has been created to help Ms Fluegge cover her medical bills as she battles with long Covid and is losing her hair. The school district, where Fluegge worked for 26 years, told her that she used all of her allotted sick days by January 25 and if she does not return by the set date, she will lose her job.