Just three weeks ago, Melody Trepanier Lager was, by all accounts, a healthy, vibrant 21-year-old. Now, the Salaberry-de-Valleyfield resident is braced for life in a Montreal hospital after contracting COVID-19.
“His lungs are like cardboard,” said his father, Jimmy Trepanier. “I’m worried she can’t come out.”
Trepanier Lager developed COVID-19 symptoms on September 17 and was hospitalized a week later. His condition rapidly deteriorated and he was placed in a medically induced coma at the Royal Victoria Health Center at McGill University Health Centre.
“He hasn’t opened his eyes since then,” Trepanier said, worried and frightened.
“I’m not crying out my tears on the outside, but I’m drowning in them on the inside. My soul is sinking, hoping.”
Trepanier said that his daughter did not believe in COVID-19 and therefore refused to be vaccinated.
“She was thinking… come on” Say the government was using (COVID-19) either to make more money, to profit or even to scare the population,” he said. “Now he’s intubated.”
Trappnier Lager’s family is going public with their story in the hope that others will change their mind and protect themselves by getting vaccinated.
his mother, sophie lager, sharing the update in French on Facebook and started the hashtag #vaccinpourmelo to raise awareness.
The day she was transferred from a local hospital to MUHC, Leger begged people to think long and hard about not getting vaccinated.
“May she be by our side, full of life chasing her dreams,” Leger wrote of her daughter.
In Quebec, 85 percent of the eligible population has been adequately vaccinated against COVID-19. According to the Institut National de Sainte Public du Québec (INSPQ), those who are not are 7.6 times more likely to be infected with the virus and 26.7 times more likely to be hospitalized.
Dr Gaston de Ceres, an epidemiologist at INSPQ, said unfortunately the virus is here to stay and those who are not vaccinated will eventually become infected.
And while younger people are less at risk, older people are at risk of ending up in hospital due to COVID-19, he cautioned against downplaying its impact and comparing it with other respiratory viruses such as influenza.
“The problem with COVID-19 is that it is a virus to which our population has no previous immunity compared to influenza,” he explained. “When you’re in your 20s, you’ve probably been exposed to influenza multiple times. So you’re in a position where you can contract a new infection with minimal risk.”
This is not true with COVID-19.
“Given the fact that this virus is completely new to people who have not been vaccinated. You know, the proportion ending up in intensive care units will be much higher,” he said.
De Ceres is encouraging everyone who hasn’t yet had a shot to get vaccinated.
“They’re providing really good protection and they’re safe,” he said of the vaccines.
As for Trepanier-Léger’s family, they are trying to remain optimistic that Melody will recover.
“She will come out. She will come out,” said her father.
— Granthshala News’ Tim Sargent. with files of
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