A 35-year-old fully vaccinated woman dies of Covid while waiting for final-ditch of ECMO treatment
News stories of the fully vaccinated people dying of coronavirus are beginning to emerge. This evening, a local CBS News announced that a 35-year-old woman in Portland died early Friday morning of COVID-19 while on the waiting list for a last-resort treatment, her fiancé Tyler Birkes confirmed.
The lady, by the name of Heather Greeley, was on the waiting list for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) treatment, a type of life support when she succumbed to the virus, Birkes told local CBS station KOIN. Birkes said that Heather showed only minor symptoms during the first week of her infection. She died early Friday morning at Providence St. Vincent after being treated for COVID-19.
“Heather did everything right, she did everything she was supposed to do and is now suffering because people didn’t do their part,” her fiancé said.
According to KOIN, the couple had been fully vaccinated for months and the thought of getting sick with COVID seemed far-fetched, Tyler said. But Heather did indeed contract the virus, then Tyler became sick with it. He said they both felt like they had bad colds for the first week but then Heather started going downhill.
“She had trouble breathing one night, looked at me and said ‘I need to go to the ER’ and I said ‘alright let’s go,’” Tyler recalled. Tyler said he last spoke to Heather two-and-a-half weeks ago, just before the hospital put her on a ventilator.
“It was really hard for her to talk but I told her ‘I love you very much’ and she was like ‘you know I’m going to be out of her in a couple of days, it’s fine,’” he said.
ECMO treatment may have helped Heather, but she was on a waiting list. All three of Providence’s were in use. ECMO is a last resort treatment that pumps and oxygenates a patient’s blood outside the body, allowing the heart and lungs to rest. He hopes her story will encourage people to think about others.
“I get it, people don’t want to get a vaccination or whatever and that’s their God-given American right. It is plain and simple. What’s not okay is selfishness and not thinking about others,” said Tyler. “Everybody thinks this disease isn’t real — it’s absolutely real and it’s in-discriminatory, it doesn’t care who you are, and it will choose who it wants to choose. Heather did everything right, she did everything she was supposed to do and is now suffering because people didn’t do their part.”
Below is a video of the story from local CBS affiliate KOIN News.