A Tulsa Public Schools board member has recovered enough from COVID-19 to again attend board meetings, but Dr. Jerry Griffin believes his recovery has a long way to go.
Griffin was diagnosed in early August and hospitalized after collapsing at home.
After two weeks in the hospital, and now four weeks recovering, he said he can only work a few minutes at the time, and he needs supplemental oxygen throughout the day.
“It's like running the last mile of a marathon over and over again,” he said.
He attended his first board meeting after the diagnosis this past Monday.
“It was good to be back, it was tiring, but I was glad to be back making decisions again," Griffin said.
Griffin teaches college classes online, in addition to his work on the board, and he’s served as a Marine and in local law enforcement.
His work on the board has included decisions on COVID-19, and he hopes his experience will help him convince people to get the vaccine.
“If you're a gambler and you're going to take the chance, at least tell the people around you that you love them because, for me it hit so hard, I couldn't move, it wasn't gradual at all," Griffin said.
Griffin believes the cancer treatments he had last year left his immune system compromised, and that's how, even though he was vaccinated early in the year, he got the infection and was sick enough to need hospitalization.
The longtime educator was treated for his cancer last year with radiation and described his experience with COVID-19 as far worse. He can only imagine what his illness would have been like without it.
“I don't know if it's a second chance, but I'm certainly happy to be alive and talking to people and sharing my opinions and ideas,” said Griffin.