COVID-19, hospital, seattle

Richard Soliz spent 28 days at Harborview Medical Center and nearly died of COVID-19.

Throughout the pandemic, we've seen countless stories of patients in the ICU, terribly sick with COVID-19, still insisting that the virus isn't real. Such stories of denial are frustrating, especially for healthcare workers who are doing their best to save people's lives.

That's why this story of a COVID patient returning to the hospital to thank—and apologize to—the medical staff who helped him offers a ray of hope that not all who are in denial will stay that way.

According to KOMO News, Richard Soliz hadn't known anyone who had gotten sick from the coronavirus. He had also fallen prey to misinformation on social media about the vaccine, so had chosen not to get vaccinated. Then he fell ill in late August, spiked a fever and found it difficult to breathe.

"That's when I really knew I was in a bad situation," Soliz said. "That's when I knew, hey, this is COVID. Man. I contracted the virus."


Soliz told KOMO he was embarrassed when staff at Seattle's Harborview Medical Center asked him if he was vaccinated. Pulmonologist and director of the ICU Dr. James Town told CNN that when Soliz was admitted, about 99 out of 100 COVID-19 patients at Harborview had not been vaccinated

Soliz ended up spending 28 days in the hospital. He was put on a ventilator and a heart monitor in the ICU and nearly didn't make it.

"I am certain that there is truth to this virus, and not being vaccinated leaves you vulnerable to the extent of possibly really taking a person's life," Soliz said. "I personally know that, because I was not vaccinated. I did not act, I wasn't certain, and I nearly lost my life."

Soliz did make it, though. Then he did something that few unvaccinated COVID-19 survivors do. He went back to the hospital to thank the medical team that treated him—and apologize for not getting vaccinated.

"I was literally on my deathbed and hanging from a string, and [doctors and nurses] tended to me as perfect strangers," Soliz told CNN. "I just had to say something."

Soliz thanked Dr. Town and told him he deeply regretted not getting the vaccine.

"No one blames you or judges you," Town responded. "Everyone is just happy that you are willing to share the story, I think. And happy that you're better."

Healthcare workers are heroes. Seriously.

"It's emotional for us to see someone do well," Town told KOMO News. "Particularly when things are so dark."

Other staff members were moved by Soliz's apology and gratitude.

"We do put so much of our own heart into the care and worry," nurse Kimmy Siebens said. "We never really get to see people get that much better. And so it's amazing. It makes it feel like it's definitely all worth it, you know?"

Soliz has a message he wants everyone to hear:

"Please go get vaccinated because this virus is real. Real enough to take someone's life (or) put you in the ICU."

Though a majority of American adults have gotten vaccinated, misinformation about the vaccines has resulted in millions of people choosing to reject the COVID-19 vaccines. Public health experts have tried every which way to convey to the public that the No. 1 thing people can do to mitigate the effects of the pandemic and safely get back to normal is to get vaccinated. Vaccines make viral infection and transmission less likely, and drastically reduce the chances of hospitalization and death. It's unfortunate that it may take more stories like Soliz's to convince some people, but here we are.

Thank you, Richard Soliz, for acknowledging you made a mistake and for serving as a good example of humility and gratitude after your hospitalization.

Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy asked his Senate colleagues the questions millions of Americans have after a mass shooting.

Another school shooting. Another mass murder of innocent children. They were elementary school kids this time. There were 18 children killed—so far—this time.

The fact that I can say "this time" is enraging, but that's the routine nature of mass shootings in the U.S. It happened in Texas this time. At least three adults were killed this time. The shooter was a teenager this time.

The details this time may be different than the last time and the time before that, and the time before that, and the time before that. But there's one thing all mass shootings have in common. No, it's not mental illness. It's not racism or misogyny or religious extremism. It's not bad parenting or violent video games or lack of religion.

Some of those things have been factors in some shootings, but the single common denominator in every mass shooting is guns. That's not a secret. It's not controversial. It's fact. The only thing all mass shootings have in common is guns.

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Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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