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COVID patient spent 322 days on a ventilator. At last she has some good news

Lisa Gutierrez, The Kansas City Star on

Published in Health & Fitness

Shaver said she felt sick on Sunday before she went to visit her mom and took one of the home tests her family stocked up on over the summer. She tested positive and called her dad in tears at how close she had come to exposing her mother.

Shaver is isolating at home now and feels fine, which she credits to being fully vaccinated, with a booster shot. But others around her have not been as fortunate.

Shaver said her prayer list is longer than it has ever been, full of friends and acquaintances sick with COVID. A 29-year-old friend who "just never got around" to getting vaccinated recently returned home after spending a few days on a ventilator with COVID.

Her neighbor's son just lost his teacher to COVID.

She was 31.

NOISY AND UNCOMFORTABLE

 

Starkey had only been retired from the Ford Motor Co. Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo a few months when she and several relatives got infected with the coronavirus during a family gathering a few days before the Super Bowl. Starkey got it the worst.

It shocked family members to see the otherwise healthy, active grandmother flattened by the virus and hooked up to a ventilator. Shaver had never seen her mother so helpless, her hands so "frail, cold and lifeless."

Last summer Shaver posted a Facebook photo of herself holding her mom's hand in the hospital and scolded people who called the virus a hoax, writing: "This. Is. Covid. Please stop trying to say it's not real."

Now, nearly two years into the pandemic, COVID patients aren't placed on ventilators as quickly as they were at the outset, but the sickest patients still wind up there. With cases surging, some hospitals are running short on machines.

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