It was too late for Robert Kidd by the time the COVID-19 vaccine first arrived in Kansas last December.
The 49-year-old McPherson was already on a ventilator battling the disease at Newton Medical Center, where he would die early the following month.
His widow, Kelli Kidd, is the director of nursing at the Bethesda Home & Retirement Center in Goessel. Ten residents have died from COVID during the pandemic.
Kelli Kidd will appear from Monday in the latest in a series of public service announcements sponsored by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment encouraging people to get vaccinated.
“I don’t want people to have to go through what I did, to have my husband in the hospital on a ventilator and not have him with me anymore,” she told Capital-Journal on Friday.
“You won’t get so sick”
Kelli Kidd has seen a lot of COVID at her job, she said.
The Marion County facility is a rural facility and the loss of 10 residents to COVID has been difficult.
âIt hit us pretty hard and the staff too, because you build these relationships with the residents,â Kidd said. âWatching them go through the process of dying with COVID has been very heartbreaking for staff and their families. “
Kidd said she knew from experience that people who have been vaccinated are much better protected against COVID than those who have not.
âIf you get the vaccine and you get COVID, you won’t get as sick as if you didn’t get the vaccine,â she said.
Kidd received both doses of the vaccine as well as the booster, she said.
She said she received her first injection on January 4, two days after her husband died.
The husband “wasn’t really sick at all” at the start
Robert Kidd was director of intake services at NMC Health, a Newtonian hospital. They got married in 2012.
Robert Kidd was diagnosed with COVID in October 2020 after feeling “sore and tired,” his wife said.
Kelli Kidd was diagnosed the next day, but felt “almost no symptoms” and was back to work after 14 days, she said.
During this time, she said, Robert Kidd “wasn’t really sick at all” during his first 14 days after diagnosis, but the disease then got worse and he started to have breathing problems.
Robert Kidd spent 55 days in hospital, was put on a ventilator on December 11 and died on January 2, Kelli Kidd said.
“Please go out and get vaccinated”
She said she agreed to be included in the KDHE PSA after being asked to do so by Debra Harmon Zehr, CEO of LeadingAge Kansas, an advocacy group for nursing homes and residents of nursing homes. retirement.
The PSA is expected to begin airing on radio, TV and online Monday, KDHE spokesman Matt Lara said.
“With the continued presence of the Delta variant in Kansas – and the first case of the Omicron variant detected in Kansas this week – KDHE continues to urge the Kansans to protect themselves, their families and their communities by obtaining free COVID-19 vaccines and safe, “he said on Friday.
Lara said 52.8% of Kansans received a dose of the vaccine while 50.6% completed the COVID-19 vaccination round.
The PSA Kellie Kidd appears in was produced in partnership with Washington-based BPI Media, Lara said.
Kelli Kidd said her appearance in the PSA allowed her to publicly convey the message she wanted to share with everyone.
That message, she said, is, “Please go out and get the shot.”
This article originally appeared on Topeka Capital-Journal: Widow of COVID-19 victim urges Kansans to get vaccinated in PSA