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“I made it” - Respiratory Therapist survives COVID

Some doctors gave him a one percent chance to live.
Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 6:27 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Respiratory Therapists work one-on-one with patients from hours, to days, or even weeks helping them breathe. Throughout the pandemic, their roles were amplified.

During that time, one local respiratory therapist went from caring for COVID patients to becoming one.

Serrell Taylor was a very sick COVID patient last year. He works at Southeast Health and said it was the “absolute worst thing” that ever happened to him.

“I closed my eyes in July and I opened them up in September and it seemed like it was just overnight,” Taylor said.

Some doctors gave Taylor a 10 to 15 percent chance to live, others only gave him a one percent chance.

“But, I made it,” Taylor said.

Taylor was put on 24-hour dialysis within days of being diagnosed with COVID.

“It was a shock to me, because it took a couple more weeks after I got off life support to realize what had happened to me,” Taylor said.

The support from his family and his coworkers gave him strength to survive.

“They cared for me,” Taylor said. “This hospital cared for me.”

As a healthcare worker, Taylor knows the power of appreciation.

“Because when you think of hospital, you think of doctor, nurse,” Taylor said. “You don’t think those aren’t the only moving parts in the hospital, you know, you got doctor, nurse, respiratory, you got lab, PCA’s, even environmental service.”

Amelia Frazier works with Taylor. Her job is just like his, she stays by her patients’ side from start to finish supplying them with oxygen.

“Our number one role is to take care of patients who are having any trouble breathing,” Frazier said.

Most COVID patients have just that. Frazier said 90-percent of patients they treat are unvaccinated.

“Most of them that we talk to either ask you know when they can get their vaccination or say they wish they would have had it prior to coming in here, most of them did not think they were going to get this sick,” Frazier said.

Frazier and Taylor work with COVID patients each day and see the miracles and unfortunately the deaths. They both encourage people to get vaccinated.

The hospital continues to see younger patients, who are unvaccinated. They say they are getting sicker faster.

On Tuesday Southeast Health is caring for 90 COVID patients, that slightly up from Monday.

Copyright 2021 WTVY. All rights reserved.

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