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After 90-day hospitalization for COVID, woman urges people to ‘put politics away’ and get vaccinated

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 7:18 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 22, 2021 at 11:01 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Hawaii Island woman on a slow path to recovery after a lengthy hospital stay battling COVID-19 has a message for the community: Get vaccinated.

The virus is having lasting effects on 68-year-old Karen Lindsey.

She still struggles to speak and breathe on her own, but decided to share her story from a hospital bed.

“Sometimes. we have to put away the politics and you know, go with what you truly feel works and is necessary,” Lindsey said.

“It’s very devastating to go through this ― knowing it can be prevented,” added her husband Leabert Lindsey.

Karen Lindsey was discharged to a skilled nursing facility over the weekend after spending the last three months in the hospital.

She wasn’t yet vaccinated when she started to feel COVID symptoms after a family gathering in Utah in late May.

On June 19, she was admitted to The Queen’s Medical Center at Punchbowl, where she spent the next 90 days battling severe COVID pneumonia.

Much of her time was spent in the ICU.

While there, she suffered from severe respiratory failure and multiple organ failures.

“She’s not out of the woods. I think at this point, she’s got a long road of recovery ahead of her, but really that sense of getting back to the family is what keeps her going,” Dr. Kuo-Chiang Lian said.

Lindsey has since gotten her shot and her husband is vaccinated as well. He never caught the virus and they both hope her story will lead others to do what they must to prevent the disease from spreading.

“Get vaccinated. Believe me you don’t want to go through this,” her husband said.

She added, “If you can look not just at the statistics, but at how many people are infected... If there’s any way to prevent horrific illness, that would be a number one goal.”

The couple added a message of thanks to the Queen’s staff members who focused on caring for Karen along with their loved ones across the nation.

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