SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — After waiting 15 hours in the E.R., being diagnosed with the Delta variant of COVID-19, and spending two weeks at Mercy hospital, Carissa Ruhs is ready to share her story.

“It was so busy up there,” said Ruhs. “The isolation department where they had us sitting for COVID, and the amount of COVID tests, they were just going out into the waiting room just swabbing people’s noses. 150 people. They said I had been waiting there the longest and it’s because they could not put me in a room in a hallway because I was COVID positive.”

Ruhs is home now but is only allowed to stand for 15 minutes every hour and uses a walker to get around. While she was in the E.R., she was on oxygen.

“Just a walk across the bedroom my heart rate goes up to 150 which is what I hit during a three-mile run,” said Ruhs.

Her husband and children were also diagnosed with COVID-19. Her husband was in the E.R. for five days.

“The vaccine does not cause COVID-19, I think that’s one of the biggest myths that,” said Ruhs. “You get the vaccine and you’re going to get sick with COVID. It does not.”

She and her family are now waiting 90 days before getting vaccinated, but Ruhs wishes she did it much sooner.

“I’ve cried, and I’ve cried and I have beaten myself up for not getting the vaccine,” said Ruhs. “Because I was so adamant that it was rushed, I didn’t need it, because you know I was invincible and we were healthy,”

Before getting sick, Ruhs said she would run eight miles a day.

“Hopefully I’ll feel safe getting out in the world again,” said Ruhs.

Doctors are estimating she won’t be able to run for at least six months, but it depends on how fast her body bounces back from the virus.