NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As hospitalizations from COVID-19 increase every day, doctors continue to say the majority of patients are unvaccinated.
Dana Huffman said her husband, Travis, had to be hospitalized after contracting COVID-19 in October.
He was taken to North Kansas City Hospital where he was placed on a ventilator for 13 days. He spent 42 days total in the hospital.
Huffman said the experience was one she never imagined her family would have to go through.
"It's definitely out there, it's definitely real, I never thought we were invisible from it, but it was definitely an eye-opener because it hit our house so hard," Huffman said.
Doctors said the virus had attacked her husband's lungs where they found blood clots.
Huffman said neither one of them is vaccinated. She also contracted the virus but did not need to be hospitalized.
After coming off the ventilator, Travis could barely speak and had to re-learn how to do simple tasks. He also lost 50 pounds over the course of his hospitalization.
Huffman said doctors spoke to them about the fact that he wasn't vaccinated.
"They can't say for sure, but they said there's probably a good chance that he could've still got COVID-19, but more than likely he probably would not have been on a ventilator," Huffman said.
When asked if the experience changed their viewpoint on vaccination, Huffman said Travis goes back and forth about whether or not he wants to get it.
She said she will get it but only so she doesn't have to wear a mask at work since she doesn't believe there is enough research yet.
"We've got other illnesses out there that have been out there for years, and they still don't have a vaccine or a cure or a shot to take care of it," Huffman said. "It was like boom, we just got the virus, and then boom, also all of a sudden they got a vaccine for it. To me, there's just not enough research behind it."
KSHB 41 News took those concerns to Dr. John Ervin, principal investigator for the Alliance for Multispecialty Research in Kansas City. Ervin has dedicated his life to conducting clinical research trials for pharmaceutical companies.
"Because of the importance of this vaccine, yes, we went all out trying to establish its safety, number one, and then its efficacy, number two," Ervin said. "You can see we're still not giving it to the kids, and now more and more children are being infected and in the hospital and dying from it. And why? Because we have to have the studies in all those age groups to prove it's safe."
Huffman said her husband still has a long road ahead of him and needs daily oxygen, but she's thankful he's home and wants to encourage other families going through the same experience not to give up hope.
"The odds were really not in his favor to come home, but he did come home. I mean, don't give up hope — there's still a chance," Huffman said.