wjxt logo

Vaccinated woman recovers at home as unvaccinated husband battles COVID in hospital

66-year-old Riverside woman: ‘I can’t stress enough, get vaccinated, wear a mask, stay safe’

A husband and wife are having different experiences in their battle with COVID-19.
A husband and wife are having different experiences in their battle with COVID-19.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A husband and wife are having different experiences in their battle with COVID-19.

Both have preexisting conditions. He was not vaccinated and was hospitalized. She was vaccinated and is still sick but recovering at home.

“I waited the last time for about three hours in the emergency room, and it was nonstop,” Susan Wagner said. “People are really sick with this.”

Wagner, 66, is isolated in her Riverside home after doctors told her she has COVID-19, likely the delta variant. She’s immunocompromised.

“Fever, severe nausea, diarrhea, no energy, very weak,” she said of her symptoms as she spoke with News4Jax through her window.

She got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Her 69-year-old husband, Carl, is also fighting COVID-19, but he’s in the hospital.

“My husband has been sicker than me,” Wagner said. “He was not vaccinated. He didn’t feel like the vaccine had been tested well enough.”

With a sign on her door to stay away, she’s thankful she got the vaccine. Otherwise, she thinks that she’d be hospitalized too.

She reached out to News4Jax to share her concerns as cases skyrocket just weeks from school getting back in session.

Her message to people: “get vaccinated, wear a mask and take it seriously.”

Wagner said she always wore her mask and stayed away from people, but when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance eased, she felt being vaccinated made her immune and let her guard down. Now, she’s urging leaders to make masks mandatory again.

Florida has no mask mandate, and Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order prevents cities and counties from putting any back into effect.

The CDC on Tuesday changed course on some masking guidelines, recommending that fully vaccinated people wear masks in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission of COVID-19.

“I can’t stress enough, get vaccinated, wear a mask, stay safe,” Wagner said.

Wagner said she and her husband are still very ill, but when her husband recovers, he plans on getting a shot.


About the Author:

Lifetime Jacksonville resident anchors the 8 and 9 a.m. weekday newscasts and is part of the News4Jax I-Team.