'It's definitely not a joke': Metro Detroit man nearly killed by COVID-19 encourages others to get vaccinated

Michael Rybski
Michael Rybski is pictured with his daughter. Photo credit gofundme.com/f/michael-rybskis-fight-with-covid

(WWJ) Still wondering if you should get the COVID-19 vaccine?

A Downriver man wants you to hear his story.

Michael Rybski of Taylor is grateful to be home, and alive, after spending three months at DMC Harper University Hospital being treated for COVID-19.

The 41-year-old was put on a ventilator, but that wasn't enough.

He then spent 41 days on an ECMO machine: a last resort type of life support for his heart and lungs... as his doctors and loved ones held onto hope that it would give him time to heal.

"They definitely called me their miracle patient," Rybski told WWJ Health Reporter Dr. Deanna Lites.

Rybski was not vaccinated against the coronavirus.

"I didn't get vaccinated because, honestly, I didn't take it serious," Rybski said. "But, it's a real virus. It's definitely not a joke after what I just went through."

Rybski, who has a wife and a 6-year-old daughter, now plans to get the shot as soon as he can, and urges others to do the same.

"My wife was diagnosed with COVID the same day I was, but she was vaccinated. She literally suffered one day of illness," he said. "And I do believe that if I would've been vaccinated, I probably would've been the same way."

There's a GoFundMe to support his family, as Rybski has many more months of therapy ahead to help with his strength and breathing.

For information on where to get a free COVID-19 vaccine, or COVID-19 booster shot in Michigan, visit this link or call the COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6136 (press 1).