Since the start of the vaccination process against Covid-19 more than a year ago, Americans are urged to get the vaccine and be protected of contracting the virus, developing severe condition, hospitalization and death. Health experts are especially noting that Covid-19 vaccine is important for immunocompromised patients because COVID-19 may pose an additional risk to them.
The data shows that most of the Americans are vaccinated against the deadly virus and the number of vaccinated people is expected to rise in the upcoming months despite the declining trend of new Covid-19 cases driven by the Omicron variant in the last couple of weeks. Unfortunately, even two years into the pandemic, Covid-19 for some people doesn’t pose a real threat until they contract the virus.
So was the case with the 29-year-old B. Romena, a vaccine hesitant young woman from California, who decided not to get the Covid-19 vaccine even though she has coped with asthma her whole life and is considered to be among the groups of people with the highest Covid-19 risk. Romena contracted the virus early January and she is still in hospital in critical condition.
According to the New York Post, Romena spent the New Year’s weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada, with her fiancée, not realizing they are exposing themselves to a huge risk just when Omicron was close to its peak, setting new record high numbers of new Covid-19 cases across the country. The couple tested positive on Covid-19 shortly after they returned home.
Romena’s condition worsened and she has been hospitalized on Jan. 11 and remained in a medically induced coma ever since. After several weeks in hospital, Romena’s fiancée, Andrew, realized Romena made a mistake for not taking the vaccine on time which would have probably by far reduced the chances of getting hospitalized.
“If you imagine that, you would definitely take the precautions to avoid it from happening,” said Andrew earlier this month.
Once she was hospitalized, Romena was put on ventilator support and doctors believed that the ventilator would help her get better within days. But she later developed acute respiratory distress syndrome that ultimately led to pulmonary fibrosis and she was moved to the ICU.
Romena eventually lost both lungs and is kept in medically induced coma while the family and the doctors are doing everything in their power to save her. Romena has severe scar tissue on both lungs that doctors deemed irreversible. The only option for her is a double-lung transplant. Her family is fighting to get her name on a transplant list and hopefully save her life.
“The moment that you are diagnosed and you are told that there is a solution to your problem, you also find out there’s a price tag on your life,” said Kelly Green, Executive Director of Help Hope Live. The non-profit helps families navigate the expenses of medical procedures like this. Green says the average cost of a double-lung transplant is $1.3 million before insurance. Romena’s family says they are relying on medical coverage.
However, Green says there always are out-of-pocket costs no matter how good your insurance is. That’s why Help Hope Live is organizing a fundraiser dedicated to Romena’s medical expenses and it can be found on this link. In addition, a GoFundMe campaign was set by Romena’s mother, donations that will be put towards all of her medical expenses.