MIRAMAR (CBSMiami) – A 49-year-old woman who survived a fierce battle with the coronavirus while hospitalized is speaking out, saying she regrets her initial reluctance to get vaccinated and could have lost her life.
Her story also prompts a plea from Dr. Todra Anderson-Rhodes, the chief medical officer for Memorial Hospital Miramar.
"Please consider getting vaccinated. We implore you to do so. We call it the surge of the unvaccinated. Across our health care system, more than 98 per cent of our new COVID patients are unvaccinated. We implore you to get the correct information and we encourage people to talk to their health care providers about the science of being vaccinated. We know now it's very safe and the side effects are very minimal," said Dr. Anderson-Rhodes.
Kayasa Cobb, the patient who is now at home, spoke with CBS4's Peter D'Oench.
"I was concerned. I did a lot of praying and said thanks to God we are here. That's what I said and I am extremely grateful to the treatment the doctors used here at Memorial Hospital Miramar," said Cobb. "I could have ended up on a ventilator or dead so my message is to get vaccinated."
Cobb said she spent 13 days in the hospital after going there on June 27 with pains in her back, side and chest. She was told she had the coronavirus and did not leave the hospital until July 9th.
Cobb recovered after a hospital spokeswoman says she was treated with blood thinners, blood and iron infusions, monoclonal antibodies and remdisivir. She had a blood clot in her lung that was exacerbated by COVID.
Cobb said she regrets her initial reluctance to get vaccinated and said she has underlying conditions and did not get vaccinated.
"I was concerned about side effects," she said. "I wanted to see how it played out before I got the vaccine. I was concerned about blood clots and ironically I was concerned about blood clots yet I ended up with blood clots and COVID."
She worried she would not survive.
She said, "I had a 50-50 chance because I had blood clots as well as COVID and I had anemia and needed blood thinners with anemia and that was not good. All that mixed in with needing oxygen and I was very weak with COVID and that was not a good thing."
According to Dr. Anderson-Rhodes, "We know that sometimes patients with COVID can have certain coagulations or blood disorders and for some it can make the blood thinner or clot and travel to other parts of the body like the lungs and can cause excess bleeding."
Cobb was also worried about her 69-year-old mother and her husband, who were both unvaccinated.
"My husband wasn't doing well," she said. "I was concerned about him. He has high blood pressure and underlying conditions. He was in the hospital eight to 10 days and had been receiving treatment and was not doing well. He had breathing complications and everything."
They both recovered.
"My message is for people to go and not be fearful and get the vaccine," she said, "just so they don't have to go through what I went through and my family. I have to wait 90 days to get vaccinated for medical reasons but we will and my daughter has been vaccinated with one shot so far and she will get the second one and a lot of my family members will as well."
"Get the vaccine," she said. "It can save your life and save you the heartache because even if you get it (the coronavirus) you won't get it as bad."
Dr. Anderson-Rhodes has a special connection to Cobb.
Eighteen years ago, she was the doctor who delivered Cobb's daughter.
Dr. Anderson-Rhodes also had another plea that she said could save lives.
"We are asking everyone to heed the CDC guidelines for social distancing and we are asking that they also wash their hands frequently with soap and water or hand sanitizer," she said. "We also want to make sure that people wear masks particularly when they are in enclosed spaces with other people. These are the three important steps that we are not changing and the steps needed to help us."
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