A Texas pastor who says he had to fight for his life at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas after getting infected with COVID-19 earlier this month is now saying he was wrong for treating the virus cavalierly and not getting vaccinated.
Pastor Danny Reeves of First Baptist Church in Corsicana, who is still recovering, told Fox 4: "I've been taught a lesson, and I'm big enough and humble enough to say I was wrong. And if my survival and my story can be a blessing to others, I pray it is."
A few days after he began feeling body aches and other symptoms, Reeves said he tested positive for COVID-19 and things quickly took a turn for the worse.
His breathing became difficult a week after his positive test and he was hospitalized at Baylor Medical Center where his blood oxygen level dropped to dangerous levels, the network said.
"The doctor came in and said, ‘You're going to the ICU.’ And said that I needed to have a reality check that I could die," the pastor added.
Reeves said when he realized the gravity of the challenge he was facing he struggled with regret and wept.
"I cried in here. I had emotional moments in here. I had regret in here," he said. "I recognized that I had been a bit cavalier. That almost cost me."
Reeves, who spent two days in the ICU, recalled how his health fluctuated so much while he was at the hospital, and doctors worried he might need a lung transplant. Thanks to the prayers of his church, and Remdesivir and steroids, the Texas pastor said his health has improved and he now continues to recover under observation.
"I asked them (doctors), ‘Why me?’ And they said, ‘Danny, it's just the luck of the draw, and this can happen to anybody. And so if it can happen to me, it can happen to you. And you really ought to consider getting the vaccine,” Reeves said in a message to the public. “I'm not going to tell you to go do it. You have the choice and the right to make that choice.’"
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 vaccines can "keep individuals from getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19." The "vaccines can also help keep you from getting seriously ill even if they do get COVID-19." It "might also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19."
Following reports of rising breakthrough infections with the Delta variant of the virus in people who were fully vaccinated, the health agency on Tuesday recommended that vaccinated people resume wearing masks indoors in some areas. The recommendation reverses a decision made two months ago that people who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus could stop wearing masks or maintain social distancing in most settings.
“I think that’s great,” Dr. Celine Gounder, an infectious disease specialist at Bellevue Hospital Center in New York, told the NY Times. She said based on what scientists are learning about the Delta variant’s ability to cause breakthrough infections, “this is a move in the right direction.”