FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) — A Fairhope business owner was diagnosed with COVID-19 over a week ago, but for the last 5 days she was hospitalized at Thomas Hospital as symptoms worsened.
Stephanie Easterling, owner of Wildflowers Florist in Fairhope, was flown to UAB Hospital in Birmingham Wednesday night. She’s on a ventilator fighting for her life.
“It’s been hard for her. She’s gotten really sick and it’s been hard for us to because it’s scary. It’s a scary situation,” said her son Will Easterling.
“It’s so scary,” Stephanie said in a recorded video that was posted to her Instagram page. “It’s extremely overwhelming, communicating, so isolating. I love you guys so much”
Will watched from a distance Wednesday night as his mom was transported by plane. He hasn’t been able to see her in person for days.
“The fear I felt at the airport definitely outweighs the fear I have for the vaccine,” he said.
Stephanie admits she never received the vaccine before getting the virus. But, this week she’s making a plea to those who are watching her videos.
“Get vaccinated. None of this is worth it, just get vaccinated,” she urged.
Her closest friends are traveling north to Birmingham Thursday afternoon. They’ve only spoke with Stephanie by phone.
“I said why do you like to hear it ring and she goes it reminds me that I’m alive and I’m breathing,” said Tami Brazil.
Her loved ones are praying for her recovery and in the meantime they’re helping spread her message in the community. They don’t want to force anyone to get the vaccine, but they’re hoping Stephanie’s message will persuade those who are undecided.
“The fact that she is trying to video when she can barely breathe just to get people out there that’s what’s kept her going. She needs a purpose,” she added.