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Who is Bryan Thompson? Vaccine sceptic who lost leg to Covid-19 asks people to get jab

Thompson's leg had to be amputated after he developed blod clots after his treatment for covid
Bryan Thompson has become a vaccine advocate now (GoFundMe)
Bryan Thompson has become a vaccine advocate now (GoFundMe)

JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI: An unvaccinated Mississippi man reportedly contracted Covid-19 and ended up losing a leg. Now he’s hoping others will learn from his health journey as he’s gone from vaccine skeptic to a vaccine believer.

As per the latest New York Times database, Mississippi has 1,428 daily average cases of Covid-19. Out of every 100,000, 48 are infected. The state also has had a 280 percent increase in cases over a 14-day period. About 620 people are hospitalized for Covid-19 on a daily basis, the database said - an 88 percent uptick over 14 days. The average death toll is 5.6 per day. The database notes that about 34 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated, placing it below states like Florida, Nevada, and even Texas.


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Who is Bryan Thompson?

Forty-three-year-old Bryan Thompson’s battle with Covid-19 reportedly began June 28 when he felt ill for several days. "We got an at-home Covid test and it said positive," Thompson, a musician, said. Thompson’s wife Audrey tested positive for the virus, as did his six-year-old adopted son Endymion. Thompson, who works for an IT company from home, said that while his family felt better, he decided to go to a hospital after he seemed to get worse.

"When I got there, my blood pressure was 71 over 40 and my oxygen levels were in the 80s, so I was dying," Thompson said. “It probably wouldn’t have been much longer and I would have died.” Thompson, reportedly, was treated for Covid-19 and released. But a few days after he got home, he realized he had lost some circulation in his leg. "I experienced the most intense pain I’ve ever had in my life," he said. “During the night, [the] pain increased to a level I have never experienced -- Worst pain I have ever felt in my life. My foot just -- I can’t explain it. Like, screaming-out kind of pain.”

“The whole night he was in excruciating pain, yelling -- Just could not get out of pain. I’ve never seen someone be in so much pain,” said Audrey. Thompson then made a second trip to the hospital. "Turns out, I did have blood clots in my leg," Thompson said. And doctors amputated his leg. “It eventually got to the point where there was just no hope to save anything,” he said. “I had to have my leg -- it’s been amputated from right underneath my knee.”

Audrey, Bryan, and their son Endymion. (GoFundMe)

Thompson, who will get fitted for a prosthetic leg and has months of physical therapy ahead of him, said he did not get vaccinated because he was in a low-risk category, but he wishes he had. “I was unvaccinated, yeah, I myself was a little skeptical and I felt it got rushed, I wanted to just make sure it was safe. We were in a low-risk situation. It wasn’t like I was a front-line worker somewhere seeing hundreds of people a day” said Thompson. “So I figured if anyone can take a little bit of a risk it could be us because of our situation.”

"The vaccine has become a political football," Thompson said. "You have to think about your family and the people you leave behind if something happens to you." Thompson, despite the suffering, said he was glad to be alive - and that he plans to get vaccinated when he can. 

He said, “People are saying you know what’s the point of getting the vaccine. I can still get it. And then yes, that’s true. I’m not gonna lie to you -- you can still get it. But the chances of it being so severe to where you lose a leg, like I have, I’ve lost my leg. Like I can’t… there’s a lot of things that I’m not going to be able to do anymore in my life." 

A photo of Bryan's amputated leg. (GoFundMe)

“It’s just you don’t realize it until it happens to you and I was just so in denial in that way also,” said Audrey, who was also a vaccine skeptic. “Like, oh my family’s gonna be fine.” But she too has hope. “We can make the best out of it,” she said. “We are so lucky and so fortunate that we still have him and so many people have died and we still have Bryan.”

Reportedly, in a Facebook post, Bryan said: “My covid bill is in and it is over 50k dollar. Luckily I have insurance and they will cover a great deal, but I still owe right around 20%... This amount does not included the amputation in which I actually expect higher amounts since I am still in the hospital and seeing specialists. Any amount helps. This will be a financial burden on my family, but god willing we will overcome.”

In a GoFundMe campaign, Audrey wrote, “Endymion has had to watch his young healthy dad be taken to the hospital 3 times, twice by ambulance, and children aren't allowed in the hospital due to covid. It's just been a nightmare situation and I urge anyone who has not been vaccinated to reconsider.” The campaign at the time of writing this had raised $5,815 of its $10,000 goal.