One Denman Island resident is urging those who are hesitant about the vaccine to go off and get it, or they may end up like her.
“I just didn’t want to be the first one to get it, I didn’t want to be the ‘test dummy’” said Kari Wasylciew, a single mother. “So, I was planning on getting it eventually. I just wasn’t ready. I wanted space so my friends didn’t die or grow ill or whatever. But after seeing— after going through the medical system with COVID, it was such a wakeup call to what they’re dealing with, and what doctors are going through. I put myself in the shoes of these doctors and nurses, and I was like ‘woah.’ I really felt bad for not getting this done.”
Though she used to be skeptical about vaccines, after catching COVID, she got her first one.
“I’m scared to get a second vaccine because the first one, five days after I got it, put me in the emergency room with a lot of pain. I’m going to be double vaxxed, I’m just waiting until my body is a bit more ready, because I think I’m already like… Compromised? So, adding a vaccine into my body was a lot for it, so I’m going to double vax, I’m going to vaccinate my kids when that’s available. Now I’m very pro-vaccination.”
Wasylciew has been unable to work due to the virus, and she says that she’s ‘screwed.’
“I’m three months into it, and [doctors] have no answers for me. I just talked to a doctor in Vancouver and she says there’s ‘no treatment, there’s no answers, we have no idea what we’re doing and we’re just learning as we go.’ They just say ‘rest as much as you can’ and ‘don’t push yourself.’”
She was unvaccinated before she caught COVID-19, and was showing symptoms since August 13th.
“My lungs were ‘really hot’ is how I would describe it. It was kind of like a normal cold, so I was confused. I just thought I had a normal cold. I had a bit of a headache, and I was really tired. The fatigue was really constraining.”
Wasylciew continued to go to work despite the fatigue, as she just thought she had a regular cold, or that the symptoms were due to working with smoke outside. She went to work for two days before checking with a doctor, who advised her to not return to her job.
Her symptoms worsened, and she described the pain as though ‘every joint in her body’ was burning. While she never visited the hospital for the virus, she coughed ‘every three seconds’ for multiple days.
“I knew that I had COVID at that point. So yeah, I was scared. I slept, once, for almost 24 hours. I have three kids, too, so I was up with the kids and then I’d just pass out on my couch for like, ever. Then they’d wake me up and I’d feed them, then I’d go back to sleep.”
Many COVID victims describe difficulty breathing, and Wasylciew was no different. She was only able to take short breaths, because any deep ones would cause her to cough, and she describes it as ‘very painful.’
“It’s hard to describe unless you’ve ever had lung problems, but yeah, it was very difficult to breathe. I still feel like I haven’t caught a breath of fresh air. The whole time, it was like that.”
The full interview with Wasylciew is available below.