Unvaxxed sheriff’s deputy, 31, who nearly died of COVID gets the shot the day he leaves hospital

An unvaccinated sheriff’s deputy who nearly died of COVID after dismissing the danger posed by the virus said he immediately got the vaccine after leaving hospital.   

Lt. Kaylon McDaniel, 31, of the Jefferson County sheriff’s detective office in Arkansas is grateful to be alive after spending four months in the hospital, and got his COVID-19 vaccine upon being discharged on November 4.

McDaniel shared his survival story with Arkansas Online, telling the paper he spent months in a medically induced coma after he was diagnosed with COVID back in July. 

Explaining his change of heart on the seriousness of COVID, he said: ‘Take it serious, get vaccinated. I didn’t take it serious at the beginning. Look what I went through.’ 

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Lt. Kaylon McDaniel’s co-workers and family started a prayer group on Facebook after his conditioned worsened (pictured in hospital)

Lt. Kaylon McDaniel said he regrets not taking COVID-19 seriously enough and has since been vaccinated

Lt. Kaylon McDaniel said he regrets not taking COVID-19 seriously enough and has since been vaccinated

On July 25 the 31-year-old was placed in a medically induced coma before being airlifted to Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock

On July 25 the 31-year-old was placed in a medically induced coma before being airlifted to Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock

The cop also told of his shock on waking up for the first time after being put into a coma in July and being told it was September.

He said: ‘Well I guess I went into the hospital in July when I woke up it was September.

‘If you ever had surgery you know waking up from a surgery that’s what it felt like.

‘You know it was it was kind of shocking to me, but I couldn’t talk at the time so you know I couldn’t really express what was going on.

‘But I could see, you know, I had to look at the news, kind of figure out, okay is it really September, or somebody playing a joke on me

‘You know I thought it was a joke or something you know for a while I didn’t believe it.’ 

McDaniel recalled testing positive for the virus on July 10 after catching it on the Fourth of July, although he doesn’t know how or where he contracted the virus. 

He said after trying to beat it at home he began to experience shortness of breath and was taken to the Jefferson Regional Medical Center Intensive Care Unit where he was diagnosed with ‘severe COVID-19’ and pneumonia. 

From there things only got worse.

‘When I first got to JRMC they had me on straight oxygen,’ McDaniel said. ‘Later on I was put on the ventilator for a while.’ 

Then on July 25 the 31-year-old was placed in a medically induced coma before being airlifted to Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock. 

It was at that point McDaniel’s family began preparing for the worst.  

‘We were en route that morning and they told us to prepare for him not breathing and maybe passing away,’ his father Thomas McDaniel told Arkansas Online. ‘They weren’t expecting him to live.’  

McDaniel with his family upon being discharged from the hospital on November 4

McDaniel with his family upon being discharged from the hospital on November 4

McDaniel shared his survival story in the hopes that others can learn from him and take COVID-19 seriously

McDaniel shared his survival story in the hopes that others can learn from him and take COVID-19 seriously

'Two things in my life have proven to be real,' McDaniel said. 'Covid-19 and the power of prayer.'

‘Two things in my life have proven to be real,’ McDaniel said. ‘Covid-19 and the power of prayer.’

Thomas said he and his wife considered the idea of funeral arrangements but decided instead on remaining hopeful and rely on prayer. 

‘We just started praying, hoping God would see him through,’ Thomas said. ‘That’s all we could do.’

McDaniel’s co-workers followed suit and Jefferson County Sheriff Lafayette Woods Jr. started a prayer chain on Facebook along with Criminal Investigations Division Captain Yohance Brunson.

The group would mobilize when McDaniel’s health would get worse. 

McDaniel’s parents did not leave their son’s bedside the entire time and Captain Brunson was the one to offer the parents rides to the hospital after they moved to be closer to their son. 

‘Brunson took us back and forth to the hospital in Little Rock because he didn’t want me to drive,’ Thomas McDaniel said. 

And then in September the miracle everyone prayed for came true and McDaniel awoke, with no idea how long he had been in a coma for. 

‘I woke up and it was September,’ McDaniel said. ‘I thought maybe a couple of days had passed. That’s what it felt like to me.’ 

From there a new journey began for the 31-year-old, who could not speak because of his tracheotomy and who needed therapy to regain his strength.

After going through speech therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy McDaniel’s was released from the hospital on November 4. 

He was met with a procession with more than 50 first responders to escort him home while onlookers cheered. 

McDaniels said he wants people to learn from his mistake of not taking COVID-19 seriously and advised people to ‘take the necessary precautions so you don’t have to go through a near-death experience as I did.’

McDaniel’s practiced what he preached and received his vaccination the day he was discharged. 

His loyal friend Woods said McDaniel’s story also convinced many who did not take COVID-19 seriously to get vaccinated.  

McDaniel said that he feels like he is a walking miracle and said that God saved him, even when doctors counted him out.   

‘Two things in my life have proven to be real,’ McDaniel said. ‘Covid-19 and the power of prayer.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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