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"I don't want anyone to go through what I had to go through" | First Shelby County COVID-19 case among first Baptist Memphis COVID vaccine recipients

Memphis hospital vaccinations Thursday followed COVID-19 vaccinations at Baptist system hospitals earlier this week in Arkansas and Mississippi.

MEMPHIS, Tennessee — "The infection being in my lungs, it was one of the worst experiences of my life," Marilyn Davis said.

That's why Davis rolled up her sleeve Thursday afternoon for a COVID-19 vaccination.

In March, the Baptist Memphis cardiac monitor technician spent a week at her workplace as a patient as Shelby County's first confirmed COVID-19 case.

"My fever was high, I was so sick to the point where, I had to ask Dr. Finn, am I going to die?" Davis said.

She survived, but the anxiety and side effects still linger for her nine months later.

"I don't want anyone to go through what I had to go through - and being here to show people, hey, I can take this, you should too," Davis said.

Davis was among several of the first Baptist Memphis Hospital frontline medical workers to be vaccinated. The moment provided hope after months of heartache.

"You almost don't see the darkness that you are in until you get a little ray of light to illuminate where we are," Baptist Memphis Hospital Dr. Steve Threlkeld said.

"I'm overjoyed that we are finally at this moment. We can kind of starting getting ahead of this instead of getting behind," Baptist Memphis Hospital nurse Emily Hoover said.

Hoover treated Davis during those nerve-wracking late winter days. That connection gave the vaccination moment extra significance.

"It almost made me cry thinking about how far we've come just in this short amount of time and how lucky she is and just how fortunate we are," Hoover said.

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