May 7, 2021
'I want to keep living an active life'
Posie Mansfield, 72, a retired EMT and former member of the National Ski Patrol living in Essex, has dealt with more than her share of health-related challenges. A bout with the MRSA superbug resulted in her left leg being amputated above the knee 10 years ago. But she said her experience with COVID-19 terrified her as much as anything else she has experienced — and made her eager to get vaccinated. (Research has shown that vaccination is more effective at producing immunity than infection from COVID.) In a recent interview, Mansfield shared her experience with Coverage.
It was the day after Christmas. I didn’t know it, but the week before, I had been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. I have asthma and when I woke up that day, I had a headache and trouble breathing. I couldn’t catch my breath, so I went to the ER.
They quickly tested me for COVID and confirmed I was infected. They put me on oxygen and admitted me and I was there for nine days. It was really scary, I couldn't breathe. They talked about putting me on a ventilator and I said ‘please, if there is anything you can do to prevent that,’ it just sounded so scary to me.
I was put on Remdesivir and an IV of steroids. I didn’t notice any immediate relief. It was very gradual. I had extreme fatigue and I lost both my sense of taste and smell.
I was scared of dying, I was really, really sick. I’ve had a bad flu, this is nothing like the flu. It’s so much worse and the after-effects are so much more prolonged and compounded.
I am an amputee, I couldn’t afford to be weak, I need to be able to walk with my prosthesis and be able to function. I am also a widow and live alone so I had nobody to help me. I began post-COVID physical therapy and I just got through it two weeks ago and it really improved my endurance and my ability to walk long distances without getting out of breath. That was months after I had it, though. It was really scary.
There was never a question in my mind I would get the vaccine, I didn’t want to go through what I went through before. I know not a big percentage of people get COVID again, but I didn’t want to take that chance.
I also got vaccinated because I want to keep living an active life. I ski, I water ski, I surf, play sled hockey, kayak and cycle.
And the vaccines are safe. They have been studying mRNA for decades. There was already science and research. I think people need to protect themselves and others. COVID is nothing to fool around with, and it’s just not worth taking the risk.”