A healthy and fit triathlete who landed in a South Bay hospital for 112 days battling COVID-19 is eager to get a vaccine.
"As soon as they tell me I can get it, I will be down there to get the shot," Tom Butts said. "I don’t want to do this again."
During his time in the hospital, the 67-year-old spent 79 days in a coma. His family feared he wouldn't make it, but he was eventually wheeled out in July. Months later, he still has lingering health problems.
"I have difficulty with breathing," he said. "I can’t read a full sentence without having to stop and take a breath. I have neuropathy."
When he got sick, Butts was training for a 70-mile triathlon. Now, he wants people reluctant to get the vaccine to know that being in good shape doesn't offer them protection.
"I was in very good health, and yet, one week later I was in the hospital and five days later in a coma," he said. "Too risky. Get the shot."
He said people should also think about their family and loved ones.
"Anybody who wants to take a chance on it, look at your family," he said. "Do you really want to put them through that? I don’t think you do."