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Sep 23, 2021

COVID Chronicles: Surviving COVID Hospitalization

Tonight on COVID Chronicles, we bring you the story of forty-three-year-old Keith Yearwood, a COVID hospitalization survivor.  Yearwood, a diabetic, was rushed to the COVID Unit at the KHMH when he began experiencing difficulties breathing.  His cases were among the most severe.  He told News Five’s Paul Lopez what it was like spending two days in a coma, the psychological burden of watching COVID patients die around him, and why he believes the COVID-19 vaccine saved his life. Here is that report.


Paul Lopez, Reporting

Meet Keith Yearwood of Belize City.  He contracted COVID-19 in early September.  His condition became critical.


Keith Yearwood

Keith Yearwood, COVID Survivor

“Two days before I was hospitalized, I had the COVID symptoms, coughing, a mild cold and severe breathing condition. So, the following two days I found myself unable to breath. So, I was rushed to the emergency room, to the COVID Ward. When I got to the COVID wars I was resuscitated. I got back my breathing like two days later.”


Yearwood says doctors placed him on high levels of oxygen.  He says he remained unconsciousness for the first two days.


Keith Yearwood

When I regained consciousness, I was at the mercy of the well capable, professional staff at the K.H.M.H.  There is this one particular nurse, I want to make mention about, Nurse Casilda. She has a very serious level of selflessness. She gives everyone the highest level of professionalism, across the board.”


Yearwood is a diabetic.  That compounded the severity of his condition.


Keith Yearwood

“COVID came along and spiked my glucose level. So when I got to the hospital I was at five forty one. I knew it was because of COVID that my sugar went that high. But I still see it as a sign. God made me live to give this testimony.”


It’s a testimony that, at some point, while lying inside the COVID Unit, Yearwood thought he would not survive to tell.  He shared what it was like being inside the Unit with so many sick persons around him.


Keith Yearwood

“It’s physiological. You start panic. There is an anxiety attack. You cannot breathe easy because you are seeing people losing their life to this pandemic. So, it is a hard thing to tell someone not to panic. But, I have also seen the staff at the K.H.M.H. working hard none stop, and I am living proof. I am living proof that being hospitalized at our nation’s public care system is not the end of the world.”


Yearwood attributes his survival to the work of the doctors and nurses inside the unit and to the COVID vaccine he took earlier this year.  He says it concerns him when misinformation leads a person to refuse the vaccine.


Keith Yearwood

“I have to say it is frightening listening to that propaganda about there about; oh I don’t want to take the vaccine. Even if I was at that point, not vaccinated, I would never lead people astray not to take it, especially after the ordeal that I have been through. So I am pro taking the vaccine, even before that. Now that that saved my life, I want to tell everyone to do it.”


Having had that experience, Yearwood says his mind is at ease knowing most of his immediate family members are vaccinated.


Keith Yearwood

“Most of my family members took the vaccine already. That gives me a level of confidence that I could breath easily, that I know none of my loved one, or those close to me, won’t go through what I have been through because of the COVID vaccine.”


The shortness of breath and recurring images of a nightmarish COVID Unit lingers, as a reminder of his near death experience.


Keith Yearwood

“The main side effects is two. One is psychological. I can’t erase that memory I have been through. Second, shortness of breath, it is prolonging. It will be a good time before I get back my breathing to regular.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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