LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – You may remember Jeannine Thelen. She was Sparrow’s first hospital patient with COVID-19.

“I will say that I definitely believe that my recovery was from the grace of God,” Thelen said.

Thelen spent 55 days in the hospital, including a month connected to a ventilator.

“They just did not expect me to make it. I had the last rights it was just a real miracle that I was able to survive,” she said.

And while she did survive, she says she is not the same. “Now a year and a half later. Trying to get my brain to work the way it should.”

It’s a fight she wishes no one else had to go through.

“I feel like it really is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. We need to keep pushing to get everybody that can be should be vaccinated,” Thelen said.

Monday, Governor Whitmer announced that Michigan reached the goal of getting 70% of Michiganders vaccinated

But experts say things continue looking alarming. Dr. Adnan Munkarah with Henry Ford says hospitalizations are surging.

“We were hoping that we will be in a better situation this thanksgiving than we were last year, especially with the availability of the vaccines,” Munkarah said.

Dr. Munkarah says most of the people hospitalized are unvaccinated.

“When compared to about 3 weeks ago this is almost a 60 percent rise in the number of our inpatient hospitalizations,” Dr. Munkarah said.
For Thelen, she says it’s hard to believe that people are playing Russian roulette with their lives.

“I wish people wouldn’t listen to social media and get some real facts from their health care professionals,” she said.

Her hope is that people stop and think of others.

“You may think yeah I’ll take my chances but if you get sick really sick, how is that going to affect the rest of your family,” Thelen said.