Vail nurse survived COVID to scale a mountain — and get vaccinated


Reaching the highest of Mount Sherman, one in all Colorado’s iconic 14’ers close to Leadville, was lengthy a objective for Julie Scales. She lastly made the journey this summer time — a visit made sweeter as a result of she had survived COVID-19 just some months earlier. Not solely had she survived, however she survived after spending 7 days on a ventilator.
Scales, 59, is the lead respiratory therapist at Vail Well being Hospital and this week turned the primary individual at Vail Well being Hospital to be administered the COVID-19 vaccine.
“This can be a very emotional second for me,” Scales stated. “The previous 10 months have been a really lengthy and private journey, because it has been for all of our COVID-19 sufferers, healthcare employees and our complete neighborhood.”
Scales was admitted into Vail Well being Hospital’s emergency division on March 14 and after simply 24 hours, was moved to a Denver space hospital the place she was placed on a ventilator.
“It was so early within the days of the virus that it by no means crossed my thoughts that I may need it,” she stated. “I had been working quite a bit and chalked it as much as lengthy hours on the hospital.”

Regardless of treating hundreds of ventilated sufferers through the years, being a affected person herself, usually on their own in that room, is one thing she is going to always remember.
“I knew what was coming down the trail for me,” she stated. “It isn’t misplaced on me simply how fortunate I’m.”
Scales recovered totally from the virus and went again to work, serving to deal with others battling COVID-19.
“I hope that by getting the vaccine right now it exhibits our neighborhood the belief as a healthcare skilled that I, and others at Vail Well being, have within the security and effectiveness of this vaccine,” she stated. “As soon as the vaccine is accessible to you, I encourage everybody to get it, not only for your self however to your family members.”
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