Updated: Apr 17
Let's start with one of Derek's last posts before COVID came knocking.
Derek Church is 34 years old, married with four young children. He had five very important reasons to protect himself against COVID. Instead, he mocked COVID, masks and the vaccine. Jump to comments.
Both Derek and his wife Mandy proudly used the medical freeDUMB FB badges. Even his parents Rex and Dee had them up at one point.
Here are a few of the anti-vaxx memes that Derek shared. The conspiracy one is quite ironic. He even has the Angel of Death grifting the freeDUMB phone. The $500+ Freedom phone is said to be a cheap repurposed phone made in China that doesn't track or censor you. It's also reported that Candace Owens still uses her iPhone while making $$ for every Freedom phone that she cons others into buying.
One last one before we dive into Derek's COVID journey. This post was shared during the peak of COVID hospitalizations and deaths. He's making fun of COVID and those who took precautions at a time when over 145,000 people were hospitalized and thousands were dying every day. Derek’s family didn't appreciate HCAz telling his COVID story through screenshots of his own public FB feed, but this was ok?
On January 10th, he shared that 103K people were hospitalized due to the COVID vaccine? Relying on good ol' VAERS reporting.
Three short days later.
DIY prayers activated.
On January 28th, Derek's wife let everyone know that he was on a ventilator and ECMO.
I'll share some Derek updates from his sister Elisha. But before I do that, I'll share some anti-vaxx posts from her, too. A few of these were made after her own brother was hospitalized due to COVID.
Back to Derek.
In mid-March, Derek got moved to the Cleveland Clinic, which accepted him into their ECMO program.
They need help with those huge medical bills that are probably already coming in.
He's been hospitalized at this point for two months and is finally off the ECMO!
After 3 long months, he's finally on his way back to Dayton, OH for rehabilitation.
We received a lot of hate mail from Derek's family and friends. They should direct that anger toward the leaders in the anti-vaxx movement and those who led this family to believe that the vaccine wasn't safe. A lot of his immediate family members still have public anti-vaxx rhetoric up, and we have yet to see any of them share the pro-vaccine message. I hope that changes. I also hope that they are all now vaccinated.
Derek still has a long journey ahead. He has four young children who really need their father and I'm rooting for him to make a full recovery.
COVID numbers are on the rise again. Let's do everything we can to stop this pandemic. Please get vaccinated. Get your booster.
UPDATE: This article published today, states that just over 10% of all lung transplants performed over the last year are COVID-related. Also, the patients hospitalized for Covid for many months strain our hospital resources. In addition to staffing required to monitor the machines 24 hours a day, it takes up to SIX PEOPLE, two to three times a day, to get a person on ECMO up, out of bed and moving to at least a nearby chair. A 15-minute vaccine sounds a million times easier than all of this. And it's FREE.