"We thought it wasn't an urgent matter to get the vaccine and I was wrong."
August 10, 2021, 10:03 AM
7 min read
Unvaccinated COVID-19 patients are sharing their stories of battling the dangerous virus and why the experience changed their minds about the shot.
'This isn't fun'
Curtis Cannon, a 75-year-old COVID-19 patient at Willis-Knighton Medical Center in Shreveport, Louisiana, spoke to ABC News from his hospital bed on Aug. 5.
Cannon said he was at first skeptical about the vaccine. But now, struggling to breathe and suffering severe chest pains, he realizes how "real" COVID-19 is.
Cannon said he'd tell others who are skeptical: "They need to get vaccinated, because this isn't fun."
Cannon said he'll get vaccinated once he is released from the hospital.
'I was wrong'
Travis Campbell, an unvaccinated COVID-19 patient, spoke to ABC News from his hospital bed at the Bristol Regional Medical Center Hospital in Tennessee.
"When you feel like you have to fight for your life, you don't realize that you're fighting for every single breath all day long," he said.
The 43-year-old husband and dad said he regrets not getting vaccinated.
"We thought it wasn't an urgent matter to get the vaccine and I was wrong," Campbell said.
"I would rather be covered and protected and if something does happen and I have to worry about repercussions of the vaccine versus being buried in seven days," he said. "I beg you, please see your doctor and make an evaluated decision and protect your family or prepare yourself for your next life."
'Have a fighting chance'
Marquis Davis, a 28-year-old husband and father from Florida, died from COVID-19 on July 26, 2021. He wasn't vaccinated.
Davis had been hesitant to take the vaccine. He told his wife in the hospital that he wanted to get the shot after he recovered.
To honor his memory, his family turned his funeral into a vaccine and testing event.
"This could have been prevented, so let’s get vaccinated so it doesn’t happen to you," his wife, Charnese Davis, told ABC News.
"At least have a fighting chance. Protect yourself. Protect your family. This is nothing to be to be playing around with," she said.
'I never expected to be a widow at the age of 25'
Braderick Wright, a 28-year-old Georgia man who was hesitant to get the vaccine, died of COVID-19 on Aug. 7, 2021, reported ABC Atlanta affiliate WSB.
"He was deep into TikTok conspiracy theories and, for him, he just didn’t want to get [vaccinated]," his wife Brittany Wright told WSB.
"I never expected to be a widow at the age of 25," she told WSB.
Brittany Wright said her husband's dying wish was for more people to get vaccinated.
'Please just get vaccinated'
Lateasa McLean, a 51-year-old in Lincoln County, North Carolina, was hospitalized twice after testing positive for COVD-19.
"My grandson and my granddaughter, they’re wheeling me out and I’m thinking, 'Is this going to be the last time that I see them?'" she told ABC Charlotte affiliate WSOC.
While in the hospital, McLean said she realized, "I should have gotten vaccinated. And now I’m putting my family through this, for something I could have prevented."
McLean, who works as a patient representative/patient safety sitter at a hospital, said she plans to get vaccinated.
"I just want everybody to listen to my story and please just get vaccinated," she told WSOC.
ABC News' Marcus Moore, Marlene Lenthang and Haley Yamada contributed to this report.