COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — After COVID-19 nearly took her husband’s life, a central Ohio wife and mother hopes her family’s experience will encourage more Ohioans to consider getting the vaccine.

A former Division I athlete, and an active youth sports coach in their community, Dawn McClean never expected her husband to get seriously sick if he did contract the virus.

But, shortly after testing positive in March, her husband began experiencing serious respiratory issues.

Dawn was forced to call 911, and after Jason was admitted to the hospital, his condition began to rapidly decline.

“Sorry, it still gets me teary. But my community stepped up and supported me so much,” recalls Dawn.

Friends and family made food for her and her children, they left phone calls and messages of support, and kids even sent their coach “get well” cards to the hospital.

“Not only were they taking care of him at the hospital, I just kind of fell apart,” Dawn admits.

A mother of two, she never expected COVID-19 to hit their home.

“It kind of snuck in the backdoor. They knew their dad was sick, but they didn’t know how sick he was,” she recollects.

After going through several treatments, doctors put Jason on a BiPap machine.

With a ventilator left as the final course of action, Dawn, a nurse at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, began to fear being left to care for their children alone.

“The first you want to start doing is advocating for your patient, and here’s my husband and I feel helpless sitting at home,” a teary-eyed McClean adds.

Not long after, Jason’s health finally plateaued, and he was eventually able to go home.

But, diagnosed as a COVID long-hauler, he faced a new reality — carrying an oxygen tank everywhere he went.

After roughly three months on oxygen, Jason began to regain more normal respiratory function.

“We are able to wean off, and he did really well with that. We actually just went to Denver, Colorado and we actually white water rafted,” Dawn laughs, as she recalls her husband not quite being 100% ready for the challenge.

Dawn had their 16-year-old daughter vaccinated shortly after the scare with her husband.

And with school set to return in the fall, this week her 12-year-old son received his first shot as well, with his father he almost lost.

“Having gone through that experience, I’m not willing to roll the dice again,” says Dawn.

And with half the state’s population still yet to roll up their sleeves, Dawn has a clear message for those still holding off on the shot.

“I hope you never have to experience what we experienced,” she warns.