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Young COVID-19 patients filling hospitals

Published: Apr. 28, 2021 at 8:44 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - We’re more than a year into the pandemic, and hospitals in Michigan are still overloaded with COVID-19 patients. But unlike last year, young people are now leading the surge.

Operating at 100% capacity for over a week, Sparrow’s COVID-19 ward is currently treating over 100 COVID-19 positive patients. Kevin Swisher is one of them.

Swisher said, “When I arrived to the hospital, they immediately took me back because they realized I couldn’t breathe, Basically walking into the emergency room I was collapsing.”

At age 33, Swisher was struggling to recover, even without any preexisting conditions. He has been sick with the virus for over two weeks.

“To be honest, I didn’t think I was going to turn around this fast because when I come in here I was pretty bad,” Swisher said.

He’s had to spend that time away from his wife and three young kids, who are also recovering from the virus.

“I want to go home,” Swisher said. “I miss my family, I miss my kids.”

Inside the hospital health care workers continue fighting the third surge, as COVID-19 fatigue has set in for the public.

Registered Nurse Danna Spedoske said, “We’re seeing younger patients. A lot more people requiring high flow oxygen, and just a lot more sick.”

She took her first job as a nurse with Sparrow, and just completed her first year. That full year was spent treating COVID-19 patients.

There have been positive developments as well. Sparrow has seen a decline in cases over the last two weeks, going from 154 to 107 patients hospitalized. To help keep cases down, vaccines are still being pushed, especially for young people.

Nearly half the deaths from COVID-19 in Sparrow Hospital over the last two months were people under 60.

100% were unvaccinated.

Spedoske said, “This could be our one and only shot to get ahold of this COVID infection and virus.”

Swisher says he plans to get vaccinated after his battle with the virus, and he’s telling others to do the same. Swisher said, “When you find the time make time, and just get it done.”

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