Photo by Keller James Photography

Summerville resident Steven Cogley and his wife Cynthia both came down with COVID in April last year, just when things started to get serious, he said. She couldn’t breath and was ultimately hospitalized for 10 days, unsure of what the future held.

Even after Cynthia’s eventual recovery, her breathing problems persisted for months. And it was only after her long recovery that vaccines became widely available. 

“Of course, everybody had that, ‘Oh, I don’t want to get that,’ sort of attitude,” Steven Cogley said. 

The idea of an experimental vaccine gave him pause — he wasn’t the only one. “I didn’t want to grow a third leg or an arm,” he joked. “I didn’t want to be a part of one of those — 20 years from now — commercials: ‘If you or a loved one …’ ”

But remembering what his wife went through, and the fear he felt when she was in the hospital, he caved to her advice. “She talked me into it, and we both got the vaccine.”

Shortly after getting the stick, Cogley’s wife left for a trip with family members, four of whom had not yet been vaccinated. All four ended up contracting COVID, while Cynthia, despite an eight-hour car ride with them, remained COVID-free.

Steven Cogley was shocked.

 “That made me a believer right there,” he said. Cogley said after that he made a point to tell his friends and family to go and get the vaccine because it works.

“Seeing what my wife went through last year in the hospital — I wouldn’t wish that on anyone,” he said. “It’s truly a frightening thing — to be in the hospital by yourself not knowing whether you’re going to live or die. If something as simple as a vaccine would prevent that, just do it. We’re living proof that it works.”