After hospital stay, Rapid City man says COVID hit harder than expected
RAPID CITY, S.D. — Since the pandemic began, 6,902 people in South Dakota have been hospitalized with COVID-19. The state also reported on Friday that 230 people were in the hospital. Health officials say they see an increasing trend in those patients – they’re unvaccinated and trending younger.
From the start of the pandemic, the most affected were the elderly and the immunocompromised. Now, the times have changed as the delta variant emerges and healthier, younger people are being hit hard – at least the unvaccinated.
Adam Bradsky is in his 30s. He’s healthy and active but a fear of needles kept him from getting the vaccine.
“I had actually been doing therapy to be able to get the vaccine but Rally rolls around, I go to Rally and two days later I have horrible fever, chills, all that,” said Bradsky. “I did a home test, tested positive for COVID and thought that I’d play golf solo, hang out and play video games, whatever. Well after a few days, it hit me really hard.”
He ended up in the hospital, was put on oxygen and then sent home. Days later, he was back in a hospital bed.
“I thought I was the person that ate well, exercised, took vitamins. If I got COVID, it would be like a cold,” said Bradsky.
The cold turned into 12 days of sickness with many spent at the hospital.
“It kind of felt like someone was reaching inside, squeezing your throat. Just really hard to breathe,” said Bradsky.
His mother, Tracy Bradsky, says she got her vaccine in order to take care of the immunocompromised in her family. And looking at the numbers and those vaccinated vs. not who were ending up in hospital beds, she was encouraged by the stats.
“I feel confident in it and obviously now, I’m encouraging all my kids to get it because it wasn’t fun worrying about the things that could go wrong,” said Tracy.
Dr. Shankar Kurra, the vice president of medical affairs at Monument Health, said last week that 99% of people being hospitalized in the health system are unvaccinated.
Similar stats and trends are shared elsewhere. According to a CDC study conducted over a 2.5 month period this summer and published at the end of August , unvaccinated people continue to see an upward trend in hospitalizations while the infection rate declines.
During the time period, 9,675 vaccinated people tested positive for COVID-19 compared to 38,505 unvaccinated people. Of those, an average of 0.17% of the vaccinated ended up in the hospital (1,271 people) compared to an average of 2.03% of unvaccinated people receiving hospitalized care (7,308 people).
Bradsky adds that he plans to get the vaccine as soon as his doctor gives him the okay and his message to others: “It has been politicized, it’s highly emotional, highly personal so don’t be mean to each other. Be open and understanding and try to have an open dialogue with your friends and family.”