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21-year-old COVID survivor urges others to get vaccinated after time on ventilator

Isaiah Dennis, 21, and his wife, Abby, 19, shared their story of what the couple went through...
Isaiah Dennis, 21, and his wife, Abby, 19, shared their story of what the couple went through during Isaiah's COVID diagnosis and encourages others to get vaccinated.(Covington County Hospital)
Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 6:21 PM EDT
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COVINGTON COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM/Gray News) - Isaiah Dennis is urging others to get a COVID-19 vaccination after spending time on a ventilator, just two months after his wedding.

To his wife’s recollection, the 21-year-old was rarely under the weather, WDAM-TV reported.

“I’ve seen him maybe get like a stuffy nose or a runny nose but that’s about like the extent of it,” Abby Dennis said. “He’s never really been sick, this is our first time with ever getting sick and it hit him hard.”

But that changed.

Covid-19 Scare Encourages Vaccination

Two months after Abby and Isaiah's wedding day, Isaiah found himself on the ventilator, fighting for his life against Covid-19. Today, this couple from Seminary encourages others that getting vaccinated is much easier than a battle with Covid-19. To get vaccinated, visit our drive-thru sight at 1207 South Fir Avenue in Collins anytime from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., no appointment necessary. #getvaccinatedmississippi

Posted by Covington County Hospital on Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Two months after the couple got married, Isaiah Dennis was diagnosed with COVID-19 and started to develop pneumonia.

Within a week of his diagnosis, he was admitted into Forrest General Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit and placed on a ventilator to help him breathe.

“I guess I’ve always taken breathing for granted until you actually get put on the ventilator,” Isaiah Dennis said. “That was the scary part, being put on the ventilator. That was, in my mind, when I thought the vaccine might not be a bad idea.”

While he was in the hospital, his 19-year-old wife anxiously waited at home, not being able to visit him.

“I asked his doctor, I said, ‘He’s going to make it, right?’” Abby Dennis asked. “And he said, ‘Mrs. Dennis, I can’t give you false hope. I can’t tell you something that I don’t know.’ And it broke me. It was hard.”

After six days in the hospital, her husband was able to come back home.

Since recovering, Isaiah Dennis has a new outlook.

“After I got COVID and we went through it, I started thinking, ‘You know, as far as COVID goes, if I can prevent getting it as severe, if I were to get it next time, or as far as leading it to her and [Abby] getting it ... it would be dumb not to get vaccinated.’”

The couple is now encouraging their friends and family to get a COVID shot.

“After our situation, I said, ‘I want to get vaccinated,’” Abby Dennis said. “‘If I have the opportunity to just take a simple shot to lessen your symptoms, my symptoms, why wouldn’t you take it, you know?’”

More than 95% of new COVID-19 cases are being diagnosed in unvaccinated people, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health.

Holding steady to his faith, Isaiah Dennis said he believes there is an option to control the spread of COVID-19, especially among young adults.

“I am a firm believer in the Lord, and I believe that he has a plan and there’s nothing we can do to stop the plan,” he said. “But we can prevent things ... especially as far as COVID goes because it’s spreading within our age group fast.”

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