PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — In January, just before the vaccine was available, Bridlemile Elementary School teacher Rick Barde got COVID — and battled for his life.
Barde spent more than 2 months in the hospital at OHSU. For weeks he was in an induced coma, had a collapsed lung, pneumonia. He was put on the ECMO heart-and-lung machine to survive. And he told KOIN 6 News at one point he just wanted it to be over.
“I didn’t think I was going to make it,” he said. “At one point I said, ‘Let me go.’ It was so horrible.”
Now he is begging other to get vaccinated.
“Why you’re not protecting yourself from further illness or death and protecting those around you, I don’t get it,” Barde said. “People need to take this seriously. I am a walking, talking example of what COVID does. It’s horrible.”
He said he has lingering health issues from COVID. He also credits the strong will and care from OHSU staff and his wife that helped him fight and manage to recover.
Barde is now telling his story to thank them. He’s also sharing his story to beg people to get vaccinated and mask up to avoid the nightmare he and his family went through.
Barde, who is now retired, got vaccinated right after he left the hospital.