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'I can't go through this again' | COVID-19 survivor urges people to get their vaccine

Ekaterina Wilson has finally gotten well enough to go home. Before she left, she made sure to get her vaccine.

HIGH POINT, N.C. — A High Point woman said she learned a hard lesson about the coronavirus. She didn't get vaccinated and she regrets the decision after ending up in the hospital. 

"You have to have it or you're going to get sick," Ekaterina Wilson said. "You need it to stay healthy."

Wilson is young. She's only 39 years old. She thought that was enough to protect her from COVID-19. Now, she knows it wasn't, and she doesn't want you to make the same mistake.

"I can't go through this again. It hurts too much to breathe," Wilson said.

It still hurts for Wilson to talk, but she wants to suffer through that pain to warn you. 

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She was at Wake Forest Baptist Health High Point Medical Center for five days. Wilson was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Saturday, July 17. On Monday, July 19, she was hospitalized. On Friday, July 23, she got to go home.

"I wasn't vaccinated because I was scared," Wilson said.

Wilson said what came next was even scarier. She not only had COVID-19, but she was also battling pneumonia. Her doctor said the road to recovery wasn't an easy one.

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"She was dropping her oxygen numbers even when she was going to the bathroom or talking continuously, more than a few sentences, so we had a pretty hard time from that status to where she is right now, where she was at least comfortable," Dr. Kinchit Shah, a clinical assistant professor of hospital medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine, said.

Dr. Shah said Wilson is not alone. He has seen a lot of cases like hers.

"Almost all of them were unvaccinated and they told us when we were treating them, they wish they could go back in time and change their mind or decision to get vaccinated," Shah said.

"I would have gone back two months ago, if I could, to get vaccinated to avoid everything," Wilson said.

Wilson has finally gotten well enough to go home. Before she left, she made sure to get her vaccine.

“I would love to be able to go back in time and tell myself to get the vaccine, that it’s safe and I’m protecting myself by getting it, but I was just so nervous over how new it was,” Wilson said. “It’s safe though and it’s needed. What isn’t safe is what I just went through after getting COVID-19."