TOWN AND COUNTRY, Mo. (KMOV.com) - A Metro East man is sending a plea to the St. Louis community to get vaccinated after he almost lost his life to COVID-19.
"I don't want [anybody] to go through what I've been through,” said Terrell Brown.
Brown, 38, spent the last three months in a grim new reality, after he contracted COVID-19 on his birthday in early April.
"I've been in the hospital for 76 days now,” he said.
The virus quickly threatened his life. He was hospitalized on April 22 and eventually transferred to Missouri Baptist Medical Center on April 25. His fiancée says Brown was administered an emergency tracheotomy when he arrived at the hospital.
"From April 26 all the way to like the second week of June, I don't remember anything,” said Brown. "I was in a coma. It was a lot of dark times then."
Brown was eventually put on an ECMO machine as his heart rate and oxygen levels started dropping. Brown says his heart stopped three times throughout his treatment.
"They gave me a five percent chance of living. And then, they didn't give up on me,” said Brown. “Out of nowhere, I just started getting better."
He says his ability to turn the corner on a potentially deadly outcome was a gift from God. However, he says the pain could have all been avoided had he gotten the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Before I got sick, I was still like in the decision-making process, I was on the fence,” said Brown. “Somedays I was like, ‘I feel like I need to get it,' and somedays I was like, 'No, I don't need it because I never get sick, and all this time I haven't gotten sick’.”
After experiencing COVID-19 for himself, his mind is now certain.
“I’m definitely getting it,” said Brown. Brown urges anyone who has not gotten or chosen not to get the vaccine to learn from the battle he still faces.
“I want people to know that this is serious,” he said. “I had to learn how to walk again. [You] take advantage of simple things in life, like going to the bathroom and brushing your teeth. I have trouble doing all of that now by having the affect effects of COVID. So, I highly recommend everybody to get the vaccines and really protect themselves because this is no joke."
Brown’s fiancée created a GoFundMe page to help support Brown’s medical bills and his two children while he continues to recover. Monday, Brown left Missouri Baptist Medical Center and will begin rehabilitation.