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Mom who almost died of Covid-19 appeals to young to consider jab

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Derrika Johnson at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital earlier this year fighting Covid-19. (Photograph provided)

A 33-year-old mother who almost died of Covid-19 appealed yesterday for young people to put safety first and “really think about” vaccination.

Derrika Johnson said: “This Covid is real. I thought my life was over.

“I wasn’t going to get the vaccine at first, but after what I went through … it wasn’t nice.”

Ms Johnson told the public: “If you haven’t been vaccinated, I really advise you to really think about getting it, especially the young people my age.”

She added: “As a 33-year-old woman that had Covid really bad, I advise everyone to be careful and safe.”

Ms Johnson said: “Wear your mask because this virus is seriously no joke.”

The Devonshire woman, who works as a housekeeper, said she felt ill on March 27, but did not think it was Covid-19 at first.

She added: “I started to feel weak, I was coughing really bad.

“I couldn’t eat anything and I was throwing up.

“I honestly didn’t think it was Covid in my head until it got really bad on March 29.”

Ms Johnson said she was taken to the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital by ambulance and tested positive for the coronavirus.

Doctors prescribed medicine to treat her symptoms and sent her home.

But Ms Johnson said her condition worsened over the next few days and was rushed back to hospital by ambulance on April 5.

She explained: “I couldn’t walk, couldn’t talk, couldn’t bathe myself, couldn’t eat, couldn’t breathe properly.

“I said to myself, ‘let me get up and try to get a shower before I call the ambulance’.

“As soon as the water hit me, I fainted all the way outside my bathroom into my living room. The sad part is my son witnessed the whole thing.”

Ms Johnson said her son Jerrico, 13, tried to help her up, but she blacked out for a few minutes before she was able to phone for an ambulance.

She added: “The doctor told me if I had waited another day to go to hospital I would have been dead.

“I was so nervous. I couldn’t think or breathe properly.

“I was in the hospital with all these needles in me.

“It was so painful I honestly thought it was my time to be called home to the Lord.

“I just got to a point where I just wanted to give up completely.”

But Ms Johnson said phone calls from family, colleagues, her boyfriend and her goddaughter Sanzinah boosted her will to fight.

She added: “I have a 13-year-old son and that is all I thought about.”

Ms Johnson’s condition began to improve after a week in hospital and she was taken home in an ambulance on April 13.

She said: “My son was the happiest little boy ever when I walked through my door. He actually made me cry.

“When I got home, I was just resting, but I still had symptoms for two more weeks, so I basically had it for a month.

“When I went to my doctor for a check-up and we talked about the vaccine, she told me she wanted me to get it.”

Ms Johnson said she decided she would get vaccinated because she did not want to risk a second battle with Covid-19.

She added she had some minor side effects from the shot – headaches, weakness and dizziness – but was convinced she made the right decision.

Derrika Johnson shares her story of battling Covid (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Derrika Johnson shares her story of battling Covid (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published October 22, 2021 at 2:21 pm (Updated October 23, 2021 at 8:06 am)

Mom who almost died of Covid-19 appeals to young to consider jab

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