OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – An Oklahoma man has contracted COVID-19 after trying hard to avoid the virus.
Ted Hartley is a kidney transplant recipient and teacher. His wife told KFOR those factors put him at high risk for infection.
“We just felt gutted that after 18 months of focusing on staying well and not catching this that he still caught it,” said Regina Hartley. “They did a chest X-ray and saw that was in double pneumonia. They did a COVID test, and it came back positive.”
His wife didn’t want to identify the school where Ted teaches math but believes he contracted the virus there. She told KFOR despite receiving three Pfizer shots, COVID overwhelmed his immune system.
“He went from fever one evening to be in the hospital the next evening. It’s scary,” said Regina.
Regina told KFOR Ted knew as a kidney transplant recipient, the medications that keep his kidney healthy also put him at extreme risk.
“You never know what person next to you is very immunocompromised and could end up in the hospital.”
As of Tuesday, Ted is now on his fourth day in the hospital, needing oxygen. His wife told KFOR Ted’s classroom is probably one of the safest, and he even asked the school board for approval to require students to wear masks.
“He doesn’t want any of his students to get it. He has a student with Cancer.”
His wife told KFOR unvaccinated people and those who refuse to wear masks put people like Ted in jeopardy.
She’s hoping his story will help change hearts and minds.
“He’ll come home and be over COVID, but he could catch it again because that’s how it is for immunocompromised people,” said Regina.
“You’ve got to do this for other people if not yourself.”
According to his wife, Ted is doing better and should be released on Thursday after his 5th Remdesivir dose.
He can finish recovering at home, maybe with little oxygen.