BRADENTON, Fla. - All Gene McIntyre can do is pray as her husband, Pastor John McIntyre, enters day 30 of being hospitalized for COVID-19.
"I still believe that if God wants to he can turn this thing around, but it would take a real miracle because my husband’s lungs are destroyed, he’s at the maximum amount of oxygen that he can be," she said. "I want people to realize this is serious and there is no need for anybody to die if we just do the right thing."
When COVID-19 appeared, Pastor McIntyre and his family masked up and followed social distancing. They moved church services for the Altar Church online.
Gene McIntyre and their two teenage children got vaccinated, but Pastor McIntyre said no, despite pleas from his family.
"The reason why he didn’t vaccinate was because he bought into all the conspiracy theories that were saying somehow vaccination was a way to infiltrate bad things into your bloodstream, control and freedom. My daughter and I used to tease him all the time and say, ‘You know, there’s no freedom if you’re dead,’" said Gene.
On his 60th birthday, Pastor McIntyre was rushed to the hospital. He, his wife and 13-year old son has tested positive for COVID-19. For his wife and son, it was nothing more than a cold. But for her husband, it got much worse and the last time her husband called from the hospital, he had regrets.
"He said, ‘Guys, I am so sorry. I should have vaccinated, I shouldn’t be putting us through this. I’m really sorry. I am making this up to you.’ But he had no idea how bad things were going to get," she shared.
While her husband had no underlying health conditions, he's remained in a coma on a ventilator at Manatee Memorial Hospital since August 17.
Gene McIntyre and her husband have been married nearly 23 years. They dedicated their lives to helping others. Now, she shares her husband's story in hopes it will save others.
The Department of Health in Wisconsin, her husband's home state, shared her message.
"For my son and I, it was just like a regular cold. My husband is fighting for his life. If this doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will. Please get vaccinated," she said in the video.
Her video has inspired others to get the vaccine. It's a brief moment of relief, as she waits for one more miracle.
"Something as simple as the vaccine could have prevented this from happening and it didn't have to be that way and my husband realized that," she added.
LINK: To hear Gene McIntyre's message visit: https://fb.watch/7LHZZf6G7p/
LINK: The family has created a GoFundMe page to help with medical expenses.