RIVERVIEW, Fla. (WFLA) – A Florida man says his father died from COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated.
Mike Madry, of the Tampa area, told WFLA that his father, Daniel Madry, had pre-existing conditions, and there’s a lot their family didn’t realize until it was too late.
At 61 years old, Daniel Madry was in good shape, so his family was blindsided when he died days after contracting COVID-19 and checking into the hospital.
“Once he got the vaccine, it was a huge weight off his shoulder,” Mike 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 Daniel Madry with a form of leukemia last year. His son said his dad, who was immunocompromised, wasn’t receiving treatment and that doctors were taking a watch-and-wait approach.
Unfortunately, Daniel Madry’s body wasn’t able to fight off the virus.
“He was never told once the vaccine wouldn’t work for him,” Mike 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, the chief of infectious diseases at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, said those who have cancer, like leukemia, have weakened immune systems and a greater risk of dying from COVID-19.
“Even in our best situation, some people may not survive an infection, but especially those who are older and the more immune-suppressed,” Greene said.
Greene said 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 — boosted three to five times or even higher — then it gives it the ability to fight off infection,” Greene said.
Mike 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, referring to chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Greene, however, reminds people who have cancer and are immunocompromised to have people around them who are vaccinated.
Mike Madry also hopes people who are immunocompromised talk with their doctor about what they need to do to best protect themselves.