Maggi Pivovar

‘Why I got the COVID-19 vaccine’

Maggi with her husband, John, at a walk organized to provide medical support for Meningitis survivors and increase awareness about vaccines to prevent the disease.

I feel so thankful to have been vaccinated against COVID-19 as a healthcare provider. I’m an occupational therapist and work part-time in home health. I support vaccination because of what happened to me.

I didn’t know I was at much higher risk to die from bacterial infections because I don’t have a spleen. I also didn’t know I needed a vaccine to protect me from meningitis. No one EVER told me. Seriously. Because I didn’t know, I paid a very high price. I almost paid with my life.

Let’s backtrack to 2007. I thought I had the flu, but 20 hours later I was intubated and comatose, with my organs failing. I was nearly dead. In fact, I had a 98 percent chance to die. Doctors thought I would lose all four limbs and possibly my hearing, vision and a lot of skin – including my nose and ear. I was at a high risk of severe brain damage, seizures and strokes.

At the time, I had four young boys – ages 1, 4, 9 and 10. By the grace of God, I overcame the odds. I was fortunate to only lose my legs below the knee and some cognitive function. But, the after effects linger for a lifetime. It’s never over.

Meningococcal Meningitis is a horrific, devastating monster of an illness. It often takes a person’s life in less than 24 hours.

“Bee Wise, Immunize”

Did you know COVID-19 also has been known to cause some rare cases of meningitis? I wish I would have known that a simple, safe vaccine would have prevented me from getting meningitis. If only the DeLorean (from Back to the Future) could take me back to 2007! I would have gotten the vaccine. This is why my kids have received the meningitis vaccine and have stayed up-to-date on all their immunizations. I feel better about their futures because of it.

With determination, hard work and therapy, Maggi has overcome the odds and leads an active lifestyle.

My kids also will get the COVID-19 vaccine just like I did. It’s proven to be safe and effective. I encourage anyone to look up the facts if they’re on the fence about the vaccine. Here’s an excellent resource to share with those who need more information to make a decision. It takes all of us coming together and getting immunized if we want to put this awful disease in the rearview mirror.

Bottom line: The COVID-19 vaccine protects me and every other person I’m in contact with every day. I’m thankful for this technology and the advances in medicine that made it possible!