LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – A Lincoln woman is in the hospital fighting for her life after testing positive for COVID-19. Kyle Barnes was brought to CHI Health St. Elizabeth on Apr. 12 after she was unable to catch her breath.
It’s been over two weeks since Tuesday and she is still on oxygen asking people to get their COVID vaccine.
Barnes said, “I can’t walk on my own.”
Barnes is currently in her hospital room needing help from her husband and nurses to get around.
She admits throughout the pandemic she didn’t take it very seriously.
“I wasn’t going to get the vaccine. I thought people die of the flu every year. It’s not that big of a deal,” Barnes said.
Kyle didn’t leave her home much the past year but tested positive for COVID on Apr. 5.
A week later, she and her husband saw it take a turn for the worst.
Cory Barnes said, “It got to the point where she couldn’t breathe and it got to the point where we brought her to the emergency room.”
“I woke up to being tied down with tubes down my throat and it was terrible. It was absolutely terrible. I wouldn’t wish that on anybody,” Kyle Barnes said.
Her doctors said the virus caused a severe case of viral pneumonia. This lead to her needing to be intubated and paralyzed while in the ICU on the ventilator.
Lincoln critical care physician Dr. Matt Maslonka said, “It is that degree of illness that is about as sick as you can get.”
Dr. Maslonka said cases like this have been common during the pandemic and it’s very rare people recover as quickly as Kyle has.
Another thing she is dealing with is blood clots in her spleen.
Barnes said, “I will likely be on blood thinners for the rest of my life because now I’m more prone to blood clots now.”
With Kyle expected to have long-term effects due to COVID, she is pleading with people to get their vaccine.
“If I could go back in time and get the vaccine, I would give everything to not have to go through this.”
Barnes is still at CHI Health St. Elizabeth and it’s unknown when she’ll be going home.
She’s hopeful she’ll get her vaccine in mid-June.
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