Dr. J Barton Williams, a 36-year-old doctor died of a COVID-related illness. However, he never knew he had the virus and he’d been vaccinated. Dr. Stephen Threlkeld who helped treat him at Baptist Hospital says the disease quickly went from diagnosis to death. “It was matter of days,” Threlkeld said. “Just a tragedy.”
Williams, an Orthopedic Surgeon, died February 8 of multisystem inflammatory syndrome or MIS, a condition usually affecting children and attacking the immune system. “The immune system attacks the body in many ways and causes multi-organ system failure,” Threlkeld said. “It affects the heart, the gastrointestinal tract and other places.”
Threlkeld says Williams tested positive for COVID antibodies, meaning that he had COVID at one time, but he never knew it. And he had gotten his second COVID vaccine just weeks before his death.
Health officials are meeting daily to study Williams’s rare case. For now, the exact cause of Williams’s death has not been determined and an autopsy is pending.
“The way to avoid this rare, albeit terrible, illness is to get the vaccine,” Threlkeld said. “The way to avoid it is to prevent the infection in the first place.” He says it’s something Williams would want. “He would want this out there and the facts. he would want the true facts out there and to have an effect to save other people,” Threlkeld said.
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