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Former anti-vaxxer pleads with Quebecers to get vaccinated after almost losing daughter to virus

A former anti-vaxxer in Quebec is pleading with others to get vaccinated after she nearly lost her daughter to the virus.

Sophie Leger lives with her family of eight in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Que. Her 21-year-old daughter, Melodie, used to be against the vaccine, before she caught COVID-19 last month.

Leger remembers the early symptoms.

“Her back hurt … her head hurt … she couldn’t move,” she said.

Melodie’s condition got worse. She ended up at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal by late September, where she fell into a coma.

“The diagnosis was simple,” said her mother. “Melodie must have died.”

Doctors didn’t think she’d make it. Melodie was intubated, breathing with the help of a respirator. Leger says her heart actually stopped three times.

“We are talking about three weeks,” said Leger. “Three weeks of paralysis … three weeks of intubation [and] strong drugs.”

For those three weeks, Melodie remained in a coma, until she recovered — something leger described as nothing short of a miracle.

MELODIE’S RETURN

Melodie finally returned home Sunday while her mother was still in conversation with CTV News.

“Oh mon Dieu!” exclaimed Leger, as she heard her daughter enter the apartment.

Upon her return, Melodie said her time in hospital had changed “everything.”

“My whole life and perspective changed completely,” she said, adding that she plans on getting the vaccine as soon as she can.

Her mother says misinformation online contributed to her hesitancy to get the shot before getting sick.

She called that misinformation “dangerous for mankind.”

“Now I have a big mission,” she said. “To make people aware of the importance of the vaccine.”

A majority of recent COVID-19 cases reported in Quebec have been found among those who had gotten their first dose of a vaccine less than two weeks prior, or never got a shot at all.

On Sunday, 341 of the 532 cases were found among that group. Public health says unvaccinated people are 22.8 times more likely to be hospitalized after catching COVID-19.

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