After a near-death battle with the virus, COVID CEO and former skeptic of vaccines is now an advocate for immunization.
(CBS) – LOVELAND, Colo. — Hospitals in northern Colorado are among those whose ICUs are at or near capacity as the delta form of COVID-19 spreads throughout the nation. For the first time since being discharged from the ICU, one of Larimer County’s sickest patients is sharing his experience in the hopes of raising awareness of the illness among people who questioned its seriousness.
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Tom Schneider, a Loveland, Colorado citizen, confessed to being one of the most skeptical about COVID-19’s severity and the safety of immunization. Schneider, 51, said he initially decided to wait until further research and development was finished before getting the vaccination.
Schneider told KCNC-Dillon TV’s Thomas, “I didn’t know anyone who had been in the hospital, I didn’t know anybody who had experienced adverse effects from COVID.” “I wasn’t pro-vaccine or anti-vaccine. I was planning on waiting and seeing which one performed better.”
Schneider, like his fiancée, began to feel ill in early August. He attempted to treat his condition using over-the-counter drugs. The symptoms, however, continued to deteriorate. He finally agreed to go to the hospital, although unwillingly. When he arrived, though, physicians informed him that he needed to be hospitalized.
Schneider said that he decided to return home against medical advise. He expressed concern about the choices the medical personnel informed him he would have to make if his symptoms progressed to the point where he was rendered helpless.
He returned home. He awoke in the hospital the next thing he recalled. Schneider stated, “I felt terrific one day and was in the hospital 24 hours later, intubated for four weeks.”
Schneider was unconscious in his own house. His fiancée discovered him, called 911, and had him taken by EMS to McKee Medical Center in Loveland for treatment. “I simply collapsed; I had no energy and couldn’t breathe. Schneider described himself as “lethargic.” “I was completely unprepared to deal with that.”
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Schneider said he couldn’t help but spend part of his awake moments contemplating his choice not to get vaccinated while on a ventilator for a month. He stated he believed the virus was genuine, but that if he ever had it, fighting it would be simpler. “It reminds me of a Monopoly game. And I believe a lot of people are playing from GET OUT OF JAIL to GO,” Schneider added. “I had no idea there were three different sides to this game. Long-term consequences of being vented, as well as death.”
Schneider couldn’t help but compare his experience fighting COVID-19 to that of his fiancé, who was confined to an ICU without the opportunity to see or interact with his loved ones. Schneider said that his fiancé was sick for less than a week and was able to return to work shortly. Meanwhile, he had lost his job and was in the hospital fighting for his life.
Schneider reflected on his experience assisting the Army Corps in the construction of the overflow medical facility at the Larimer County Fairgrounds a year ago. He couldn’t help but recall how he had before minimized the virus’s seriousness.
“I turn around and say, ‘You’re an idiot.’ ‘You’re a moron,’ Schneider said.
Schneider was allowed to leave the hospital thanks to medical personnel from Banner Health and Columbine Health Systems. He is currently receiving treatment at a rehab center close to his house. He hopes to return home next week.
Schneider said he made the mistake of thinking he could put God’s protection ahead of the virus because he is a Christian. He eventually understood God’s protection came after acquiring COVID-19, he claimed.
“It was a combination of incompetence and hubris on my side. I’m a Christian, and one of the things I learnt was that I was expecting God to appear and protect me from COVID. Schneider said, “But God had me in the hospital receiving therapy.” “He placed me with the people who needed to look after me.”
(Photo courtesy of CBS)
He expressed gratitude to God and the medical personnel who assisted him for providing him with a second shot at life. Schneider, who was previously a skeptic of the COVID-19 vaccinations, now intends to receive his immunization whenever he is well enough.
Looking back on his comparison of Monopoly to the fight with COVID-19, he hoped that by telling his tale, people would understand that the “game” is more difficult to play than they may think. “Now that I’ve experienced it, I can say that 75% of the game is negative. Schneider expressed his displeasure with the odds. “You might acquire this and be dead the next day.”