LIBBY, Mon. — Benfisher changed his mind about virus vaccination after he was about to die from COVID-19.
“The only defense we have is a vaccine,” Fisher said on October 27 from the St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center in Idaho.
Fisher, a 47-year-old adjutant at the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, caught a delta variant of the coronavirus in late September. A few days after going to the low oxygen level Libby Emergency Room, he was fighting to stay alive on a ventilator at the Boise Veterans Medical Center in Idaho. The battle caused him to be intubated for 17 days, bedridden for 40 days, and stripped 80 pounds from a sturdy 6-foot-4 frame, Western News reported.
According to his wife, Christina Fisher, complicating the coronavirus infection, Fisher suffered from suspicion of bacterial pneumonia and asbestosis. During the darkest days of Ben Fisher’s hospitalization, nurses struggled to prone him and point him at the stomach to help distribute oxygen throughout his lungs.
Community support flourished around Fischer’s, with neighbors providing donations, food, and firewood. At the Troy Christian Fellowship on September 25, dozens of people attended a prayer rally for the suffering adjutant.
Born and raised in Troy, Ben Fischer said he had held numerous rallies with his neighbors around a local family in need.
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“When you live in a small community like Troy or Libby, that’s what you have to do,” he said. “You never think it is you.”
While Ben Fisher was struggling in the intensive care unit, the hospital manager allowed Christina Fisher to sit and massage with him. The nurse herself was surprised that Christina Fisher had this level of access. Medical staff assured her that her presence might improve his condition, so she allowed her to be with her husband, but Christina Fisher later Ben I knew they were generous because I believed Fischer was at the doorstep of death.
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Contrary to incredible probability, Ben Fisher’s condition improved by mid-October, and the manager of the Boise Veterans Medical Center moved him out of the hospital’s intensive care unit. When Ben Fisher worked to regain his basic motor skills, hospital staff reduced the exceptions to visit restrictions and ended up spending a lot of time alone in the center’s step-down unit.
“It’s hard to keep someone out, especially when you’re away from home for hours,” he said.
Eventually, Christina Fisher stepped on the path to the unit, and the manager later relaxed the hospital’s policy. As Ben Fisher’s power returned, staff moved him to St. Luke’s on October 22nd.
During rehab, Ben Fisher learned how close he was to death. The doctor who took care of him early in his infection said he did not expect him to do it during his visit.
According to Christina Fisher, a doctor at the Veterans Medical Center told her that patients like her husband, who were intubated in the hospital and infected with the delta variant of the virus, have only a 5% chance of survival. ..
Talking to a doctor during rehabilitation also changed Benfisher’s attitude towards vaccines. Initially, he opposed the shot, worried that the drug company might be rushing the process. But doctors told him that researchers had been working on similar vaccines for years.
Ben Fisher emphasized that vaccination should be a personal choice, but he recognized that shots were safe and effective. Before moving to St. Luke’s, Ben Fisher received his first vaccination and was unaware of any side effects.
Ben Fisher looked back on how he responded to the virus before he was hospitalized and said he might have done something else if he knew the results.
“I wasn’t playing my part. I wasn’t wearing a mask. I wasn’t worried about it,” he said. “Now that I live with the results, it definitely changed my mind.”
Christina Fisher said her husband wore a mask at work, but it was lazy to wear a mask for grocery stores, churches, or children’s activities.
Before he gets home, Ben Fisher will probably spend a week or three to regain his strength. As of October 27, he was focused on standing and walking for long periods of time. Due to the way COVID-19 affected his nervous system, Ben Fisher said it took longer for the left side of his body to heal.
While excited to return to the patrol vehicle after the recovery, Ben Fisher said the idea of going home to his family was the reason he kept moving.
“I’m very excited to go back and meet my kids,” he said. “That’s why I stand up and fight and take that extra step.”
This article was originally published in the Great Falls Tribune: Adjutant recovering from COVID changes his mind about vaccines