A Fort Gibson man is recovering after nearly a month-long fight with COVID-19, and said he had to wait more than a day to get proper COVID treatment. Now, he's using his story to warn others.
"Scary situation, and a very humbling situation,” Scott Gaddy said.
Gaddy did not take the vaccine and said when he got COVID-19 earlier in the month, his symptoms got so bad, he had to call an ambulance.
"Heart just racing the whole time, could not get any air," said Gaddy.
Gaddy said the ambulance crew called multiple hospitals before finally finding a bed at Ascension Saint John in Tulsa. But Gaddy's wait was far from over.
"At Saint John, I was in the ER for 29 hours trying to get a bed upstairs. I think they were trying to build a COVID-19 floor," said Gaddy.
Gaddy said after more than 30 hours, he finally received specific COVID-19 treatment.
"By me not getting the vaccine, I have affected myself, my family - taking up resources with the hospital being there - and it was just stubbornness with not getting the shot," Gaddy said.
Kristen Corrollo with the Muskogee Health Department said the increase in wait times at the ER could be due to an increase in COVID-19 cases statewide.
"Someone who is having a non-COVID related issue, if they are having a heart attack or blood sugar issues because they are a diabetic, that could negatively impact them if they cannot get into the hospital correctly or in the ER correctly from what's going on," Corrollo said.
Gaddy said he would not have survived without the doctors and nurses at Saint John. He hopes his story encourages others to get the vaccine.
"I was in a room and being worked on in 20 minutes, I am very thankful for that. But was it fair to everyone else? No, because it could have been avoided," Gaddy said.
News on 6 contacted Ascension Saint John for comment about the conditions in the ER and have not heard back yet.