Local mother is asking others to reconsider getting vaccinated after her near-death experience

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Ganeene Starling tells Action News Jax she was naïve as to how dangerous this virus really is.

She never thought she would be hospitalized for it, let alone told she most likely wasn’t going to make it.

”I remember so many times saying to friends and family oh I probably had COVID-19 and never realized it. Well no I never did have it. I finally did have it, it almost took my life like literally almost claimed my life,” exclaims Ganeene Starling, a local mother of eight.

Life can change in an instant.

The 43-year-old and her husband had just wrapped up celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary at the beginning of July.

Five days later, Starling was being rushed to the hospital.”I just went from feeling like I had the flu to literally, the best way to describe it is it literally felt like somebody put a Ziploc bag over my head and that I was just slowly dying.”

She was in the hospital fighting for her life for nine days.

At one point doctors weren’t sure she would pull through.

”They were very frank with me and told me they did not know if I was going to live,” explains Starling.

She posted a video to Facebook when she was being taken back to the ICU begging for prayers, terrified she wasn’t going to make it.

”I got to the point that I was in so much pain I had contemplated saying ‘Okay keep me out of pain. I can’t do this no more, it hurts too bad’.”

Before this Starling tells Action News Jax she hadn’t taken the virus seriously.

She had chosen not to get the vaccine.

She says, “I regret it. I regret not getting it because I would be able to move right now and breathe still.”

She now hopes others will reconsider.

”I think we have come to a crossroads that we have to make the decision to be vaccinated or the outcome could be fatal,” explains Starling.

She is now out of the hospital, but receiving oxygen and care at home.

She still cannot breathe on her own.