VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — After spending three weeks fighting for her life in the hospital, one Virginia Beach woman is pleading with others not to make the same mistake she did.
Annesa Faticoni was perfectly healthy.
She teaches yoga classes and paddle boards every morning.
But three weeks ago, everything changed.
"This isn’t normal. This doesn’t feel like a cold. This feels like I’m dying," she said.
Faticoni said she got her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine two months ago, but never went back for her second.
"I got talked out of it. I really started listening to the other side," she said. "I got confused. I knew better."
The next thing she knew, she was walking into the emergency room with COVID-19, not knowing if she would come back out alive.
"What I thought was, 'I’m never gonna see the sunshine again. I’m never gonna sit on the beach again,'" said Faticoni. "I was so angry with myself because it would have just been a shot. It would have just been a follow up. It would have just been five minutes."
She said it took everything in her to stay off of a ventilator and heal.
"Every bit of your mental health, your physical health… I had to use to fight to stay alive."
Now, Faticoni is resting at home, still on oxygen and slowly getting her voice back.
She has a message for people who still haven’t gotten their shot.
"If you’re on the fence about it, get vaccinated -- because it’s preventable. This is a tragedy and it was preventable, and it did strain the system a lot, and a lot of people worked very hard, and I’m very grateful to them."
She said not only was getting COVID-19 a huge strain on her body, but also the healthcare system.
She said she’s so grateful for all her nurses and doctors who took care of her without judgement.
According to the CDC, unvaccinated people are 11 times more likely to die from the virus than those who are vaccinated.