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‘It kills me.’ Father watches son fight for his life after contracting the delta variant

Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 4:28 PM EDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD/Gray News) – Just before he was put on a ventilator, Ethan Snook told his aunt he wishes he’d gotten vaccinated for COVID-19.

The 19-year-old had tested positive for the highly contagious delta variant.

For his dad Erich Snook, seeing photos of his son lying in a hospital bed are tough to take in.

“It kills me,” he told KCBD-TV. “Seeing Ethan, what he looks like right now versus what he looked like before ... it will take the biggest strongest person -- it’ll tear them down to nothing.”

Both Ethan and Erich Snook caught the virus in late July.

The only difference, Erich Snook had received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while his son had not.

Doctors believe having the initial shot could be the reason he didn’t end up hospitalized too.

“Young kids, they think they’re invincible and think it can’t happen to them,” Erich Snook said. “I’m here to tell you it can happen, and it will happen and he’s proof of it. It hit him, and it hit him hard.”

Doctors have warned the family that Ethan Snook could have lung damage.

“It’s sad enough when it happens to people in New York and in other states, but when it’s one of your own it’s really hard,” his aunt, Christina Weathers, said. “Look at this perfectly healthy 19-year-old nephew of mine that has no underlying health issues who’s fighting for his life.”

While it’s unclear how long he’ll remain in the hospital, his dad said the odds are looking better now than they did a month ago.

“When he first went in the hospital, they were telling me he only had a 20-30% chance of survival,” Erich Snook said.

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