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'I believe without the shot I would be dead,' Vaccinated patient talks to WBRZ from hospital bed

3 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago Monday, August 09 2021 Aug 9, 2021 August 09, 2021 10:28 PM August 09, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - As Baton Rouge General looks at a record-breaking 181 COVID patients, the number of breakthrough cases are only growing.

Of all of BRG's hospitalizations, 90% are unvaccinated with 15 vaccinated, two of them are 75-year-old Rhonda Townsend and her husband who completed their sequence back in February.

"I knew you could get COVID but you would live or have a better chance," said Rhonda.

Now she sits eight months later with COVID in her hospital bed talking to WBRZ over the phone and from a distance saying Monday she's feeling better than before. Rhonda is one of few, not sure where she caught the virus but said that once they were vaccinated they had the same mindset so many had.

"We were just like the people, we pulled off the masks started touching things. I thought I was hunky dory but you're not," said Rhonda.

She and her husband were diagnosed on July 25th then soon hospitalized. She had pneumonia and he was battling kidney stones. They are recovering and credit that to the shot.

When asked if she was happy she got the vaccine, she responded, "Yes ma'am, because I believe without the shot I would be dead."

She added she would do it all again in a heartbeat.

"It's a chance you take. Life is life, you can't hide from it. I knew that factor that you get a shot and you still might get it. They have so many variants and you just can't hide from it. You gotta do what you can to protect yourself," Rhonda said.

At BRG the average age of vaccinated patients is 73, while unvaccinated it's 54. Officials remind everyone that even with the vaccine, breakthrough cases are possible. For Rhonda, she's discharged, one thing that'll stay close is her mask.

"I might even get myself a spacesuit," Rhonda said as she laughed.

While Ronda and her husband will be okay, BRG says that's not the case for many unvaccinated couples their age, some landing in the ICU or on ventilators.

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