RIVERVIEW, Fla. (WFLA) — A Tampa area man says his dad died from COVID-19, despite him being fully vaccinated.
Mike Madry tells 8 On Your Side his father Daniel Madry had pre-existing conditions, and there’s a lot their family didn’t realize until it was too late. Now he’s sharing his father’s story hoping to save someone else’s life.
At 61-years-old, Madry was in good shape, so what happened to him completely blindsided his family. He dies days after getting COVID-19 and checking into St. Joseph’s Hospital in Riverview.
“Once he got the vaccine it was a huge weight off his shoulder,” Madry said. “One of his last Facebook posts was telling people to wear a mask and stay vigilant because this disease was destroying him.”
Doctors diagnosed Madry with a form of leukemia last year. His son Mike says his dad wasn’t receiving treatment, and doctors were taking a watch-and-wait approach.
Unfortunately, Madry’s body wasn’t able to fight off the virus. He was immunocompromised.
“He was never told once the vaccine wouldn’t work for him,” Madry said. “My dad died a brutal death and this COVID situation is real and I would hate for someone to go through what my dad went through.”
Dr. John Greene is the Chief of Infectious Diseases at Moffitt Cancer Center. He says those who have cancer, like leukemia, have weak immune systems and a greater risk of dying from COVID-19.
“In our best situation, some people may not survive an infection, but especially those who are older and the immune-suppressed,” Dr. Greene said.
Dr. Greene says that’s why there’s a push to get a booster shot.
“If you had a booster shot in your immune system which is already suppressed, then it gives it the ability to fight off infection,” Dr. Greene said.
Madry now hopes something positive comes from this tragedy.
“I just hope his story will allow someone who might have CLL or another disease that leaves them immunocompromised to realize the vaccine might not protect you from COVID,” Madry said.
Dr. Greene reminds people who have cancer and are immunocompromised to have people around them who are vaccinated.
Madry also hopes people who are immunocompromised talk with their doctor about what they need to do if they fall under this group of people.