73-year-old totally vaccinated Beaver County man hospitalized after contracting Delta variant of coronavirus – CBS Pittsburgh
AMBRIDGE, Pennsylvania (KDKA) – A 73-year-old Beaver County man fully vaccinated against the coronavirus is in hospital after contracting the Delta variant.
Joe Pucci is the first known case in the region with the strain, and his family said he was lucky to be alive.
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Pucci’s family knew that his health was in danger. They took steps to get the Ambridge man vaccinated early, but they never expected he would get COVID-19 after vaccination, let alone the Delta variant.
Pucci was due to celebrate his birthday on June 21st when his health collapsed.
“He was shaking like he was on that ride in Kennywood, that Noah’s Ark where you jump up and down. He was shaking so badly, ”said Pucci’s wife Cora. “So I took his temperature and it was 103.1 and I said that’s it, we’re going.”
Little did Cora know that her husband was losing oxygen quickly. At VA Pittsburgh Medical Center, the 73-year-old man, a former Ambridge and Marine councilor, was initially diagnosed with COVID-19.
“And when they told me he had COVID, I mean it was. Everyone I knew had COVID died from it, ”Cora said.
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After 47 years of marriage, the couple had just bought a home in the south and were preparing to make their dream come true.
Cora said her husband’s health continued to deteriorate over the next few weeks, and then they received a second blow in the pit of the stomach. Joe was diagnosed with the Delta Tribe and a world of confusion ensued.
Joe was on the first wave of vaccinations. He got the Pfizer vaccine, Cora the Maderna vaccine.
Cora said Joe refused to be put on a ventilator in the hospital even though his oxygen levels were still deteriorating. At the time, doctors tried an antiviral drug.
“By giving him this medicine, he probably saved his life,” Cora said.
As for the drug that Joe was given, his family said it was a rheumatoid arthritis drug that the FDA recently approved for an emergency.
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Joe’s condition has improved and he has been transferred to a step-down unit. He’s still considered contagious and unable to see his family, but he’s no longer in intensive care.