Kansas man now needs double lung transplant in battle against COVID-19

Kansas News

WICHITA, Kan. – A Wichita man who’s been in an Oklahoma hospital for months is begging people to get the coronavirus vaccine.

He chose not to. His wife said that choice could be the difference between him living and dying.

That Nguyen’s wife said her 43-year-old husband was healthy. Nguyen ran several times a week. Now, he’s awaiting a double lung transplant. He said this could have been avoided had he just gotten the COVID vaccine.

“I respect people’s autonomy, so I never forced it on him, but I wish I did at this point where we are now,” Hong Mai said.

That’s the message from this Wichita wife after watching her husband fight for his life for months.

“We are continuing to live our daily nightmare, and I don’t know when I’m going to wake up from this,” Mai said.

It all started in May when Mai said her family went on vacation to Hawaii. She stayed back in Kansas after testing positive for COVID. Two days into the vacation, Nguyen started showing symptoms.

“He got really sick and quarantined himself about five days then got back to Wichita on 6/3,” Mai said.

Once back, Nguyen’s condition got worse, and he was first hospitalized on June 4.

“All five of his lobes had pneumonia already, so in just five days, it whipped out all of his lungs,” Mai said.

By June 15, his condition deteriorated. He was eventually transferred to a hospital in Oklahoma City.

“We have been up there since 6/25 ’til now, and we are at the end stage of lung disease. We are now waiting for a bed in Dallas, Texas,” Mai said.

Nguyen is now on the top of the critical list for a double lung transplant.

“This is our last hope. This is it. We don’t have any other choice,” Mai said.

Mai said her husband now wishes he had gotten the COVID vaccine. However, she said he didn’t because of politics, adding there weren’t enough long-term studies on the effects of the vaccine.

“He would definitely say, ‘Please get vaccinated. You do not want to be in the position that I am in right now. You don’t want your loved one to go through what I’m going through, what we’re going through,'” Mai said.

Mai said since his diagnosis, her husband has called all of his friends, urging them to get the vaccine. She said she wouldn’t wish this on her worst enemy. It’s unclear when he could get the lung transplants, but they are holding onto hope.

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