After near-death experience with COVID-19, local mom urges vaccine

Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A West Michigan mom who almost lost her life to COVID-19 is sharing her reason for getting vaccinated in a new TV public service announcement.

The video featuring the 27-year-old mom is the latest edition in the state health department’s series highlighting Michiganders and their reasons for getting vaccinated.

Kayliegh Fox of Walkerville is sharing her story in hopes of encouraging others to get vaccinated.

“I didn’t think that I’d get COVID and if I did get COVID, I thought it’d be like the flu and I’d get over it,” Fox told News 8. “I didn’t think that I’d almost lose my life to COVID, so if I can get just one person to be vaccinated and one person to not have to suffer like this, then I did my part.”

Fox was 39-weeks pregnant when she tested positive for COVID-19. A few days later, on April 1, she delivered her son Oak via cesarean section.

Hours after being discharged from the hospital, Fox’s coronavirus symptoms worsened.

“I woke up in the night and I remember saying to my husband, ‘I have to go to the emergency room,’” she said. “I could hear the fluid in my lungs just sitting there. I could hardly breathe.”

Fox spent the next month in the hospital, missing the first weeks of her son’s life while fighting for her own.

“Being in the hospital all by yourself when you think that you’re going to die and you can’t breathe and you just gave birth to a newborn baby is terrible,” Fox said.

Fox’s newborn baby was allowed one visit, the new mom held her son before being transferred to another hospital across the state.

“They would send me pictures every day and they’d put a sticky note either on my husband or on my son with what day it was because babies change so fast,” she said.

Fox made a miraculous recovery just in time for Mother’s Day, returning home to her family as she continued to recovery process.

As a nurse, Fox was among the first eligible to get the vaccine but put it off due to her pregnancy, saying she wasn’t too worried about contracting the virus given her age and overall health.

“Nobody thinks it’s going to happen to them until it does happen to them and sometimes it’s too late by then,” Fox said.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services released a statement Monday about Fox, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation for pregnant women.

“The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that pregnant women be offered the COVID-19 vaccine upon consultation with their medical provider. Pregnant women are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that all eligible persons, including pregnant and lactating individuals, receive a COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine series.”

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

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