‘Listen to me, I almost died. Go get the shot, please’: CT COVID survivor urges everyone to get vaccine


(WTNH) — A Connecticut COVID-19 survivor wants you to hear about her ordeal if you are hesitant about getting the vaccine. She almost died. Some steadfast dietitians at a rehab center gave her the strength to fight back.

Gianna Consiglio, a mother of three refused to give up in the hospital or rehab. She lost her appetite and food became what it took to bring her back. She is now a COVID long-hauler, refusing to let it stop her from sharing her vaccination message.

After 35 days hospitalized with COVID, even intubated, Consiglio was taken to Gaylord Speciality Healthcare to rehabilitate. But she couldn’t taste and stopped eating. That’s when Gaylord’s executive chef paid her a visit.

“He must have sat there for an hour with me trying to find out what ‘I could do to please you?’ because nothing pleased me,” Consiglio said. “I would send the food back and not eat dinner.”

Gaylord Registered Dietitian Amanda Perriello knew she had to eat to do the rehabilitation.

“She had one request which was an antipasto salad and so we don’t have that normally on our menu,” Perriello explained, “[But] our chef was like, ‘no problem, we have all the ingredients on hand,’ so he was able to do that for her and she really liked that.”

Perriello on what foods help the body get stronger: “high-quality sources of protein, complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.”

The food gave Consiglio the stregth to learn to walk again. Now with limited breathing ability, she wants to get this message out.

“Even though you may not want to take the shot and are afraid of it, listen to me. I almost died. And what I recommend is more of us should talk to those people who don’t want to get the shot…I was healthy and my whole life has been compromised, not only financially, physically, and mentally. So if you think a shot is worse than what I went through, you’re wrong. Go get the shot, please.”

She was allowed to have one visitor while hospitalized, but she did not want her sons to see her so sick, so she is now very grateful she is able to just be home. Her life now is constant doctor appointments and she can’t breathe well, but she is home.

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