While millions of people have been taking precautions to not contract COVID-19, one Oklahoma grandmother is trying to catch it on purpose. Yep, that is right, she is trying to catch Coronavirus.
Shelley Stutchman, a sixty-five-year old woman from Enid is participating in a COVID clinical trial that is being performed by Lynn Institute in Oklahoma City. The clinical consists of 230 participants who get two injections of the vaccine approximately one month apart.
Dr. Carl Griffin, from the Lynn Health Science Institute said the idea of the clinical is to see how patient’s bodies react to the virus.
“We want to compare and see how the ones who receive the vaccine get an immune response,” Dr. Griffin said in an interview with KFOR. “If they’ve already had the virus, they already have the antibody. Then it makes it difficult to sort out what the vaccine is doing.”
Participants of the study will not know if they are getting injected with the virus or a placebo. The institute is compensating every participant with $2,000.
Stutchman said she is not doing it for the money; she wants to be able to hug her grandchildren again. She said her 10-year-old granddaughter was scared to hug her, for fear she would die from the virus. Hearing that is what made up Stutchman’s mind to do the clinical.
Even though her son offered her $1,000 to not be a part of the clinical trial, she said she felt it was something she must do. She said if an actual vaccine is created because of her participation in the trial, then it was all worth it. Besides the chance to be able to hug her grandchildren again, Stutchman has other reasons to participate in the trial. She said her mom had polio, and because of the polio vaccine, neither she nor her sister have to worry about contracting it.
Many family, friends and even strangers have taken to Facebook to call her a hero.
“You are incredible,” posted on Facebook user.
“Thanks for caring not only for your immediate family but for mankind as well,” posted another.
Even complete strangers are rallying around her and her decision.
“Thanks so much for doing the Covid study you are sooo brave,” another user posted. “I dont know you personally but hugs and kisses and lots of blessings your way!”
There are ones that disagree, but only because of health risks. One of Stutchman’s friends began a conversation with a mere two words.
“Oh Shelly,” she posted.
To which Stutchman replied, “I understand we differ on this point, and there are many other points we are 100% in agreement with....that is the beauty of freedom...the ability to make our own decisions...what we agree 100% on is we have to work hard to protect those freedoms because they are slipping away.”
The friend quickly informed Stutchman that she was not criticizing her decision.
“It is not mine to criticize your decisions. I fear for your well being and also am sad how much the media used your well-meaning move to further their agenda. And they did. This vaccine is dangerous and I sure hope you’re in the placebo. Though even that is said to contain bad chemicals. I’m praying for you,” the user posted.
Fortunately, Stutchman said she has not felt any side effects, so far.