A 24-year-old emergency room nurse from Lafayette, Louisiana has died after battling COVID. It’s a story that is capturing worldwide attention because Olivia Guidry’s sister documented the last few days of her life in a series of now-private Facebook posts. On July 8th she wrote, “She was diagnosed with Covid several days ago. Tonight at the ER she went into a long seizure, and had to be intubated to ensure that she wouldn’t aspirate liquids.” The LSU grad, who reportedly wanted to attend medical school, died a few days later. Since her death, posts from Guidry have surfaced telling people not to get the COVID vaccine. There is no indication as to where she got this false information about vaccines or whether she changed her mind about vaccines before she died.
The fact that Guidry worked as a nurse in an emergency room and may not have been vaccinated is prompting questions about whether hospitals should make vaccines mandatory. One person on Facebook wrote, “I am angry that medical professionals are not REQUIRED to get vaccinated. Anyone that medically fragile people are exposed to should not be given an option.”
The healthcare magazine Becker’s Hospital Review actually spotlighted the hospital Guidry worked for in an article back in May about “How health systems are deciding whether to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations.” The publication writes that Ochsner Health, a New Orleans-based health system decided not to mandate the vaccine for employees while the vaccines were only FDA-approved for emergency use. They spoke with Tracey Schiro, executive vice president and chief human resources officer about the decision:
“In speaking with our CMO about the mandatory status, we feel that until there is FDA final approval, then we will continue to evaluate thinking about making it mandatory. Today, we do have the flu vaccine as a mandatory requirement unless someone has a medical or religious exemption, so once it’s approved by FDA, I think we’ll consider that and make our decision.”
Past social media posts from Guidry reveal she had a heart condition. There is no word on whether that played a role in her death. An autopsy is reportedly being conducted. If she did, however, have a pre-existing condition, there is a reminder today that it’s especially important for people with underlying conditions to get vaccinated.
Guidry’s parents are reportedly also battling COVID.