VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — As a New York-based journalist, Debbie Cohen reported the facts. But when safe, free and effective COVID-19 vaccines were released, she followed disinformation and refused to get the shot. That decision nearly cost Cohen her life.

One year later, Ten On Your Side took Cohen on a trip back in time to what she calls the darkest period of her life.

Debbie Cohen in Rehabilitation

For months, Ten On Your Side followed the frightening journey that included a rapid heartbeat, weakness, fever, and the loss of taste and smell.

“I could hardly walk at all; it felt like as the doctor said on the order of a temporary paralysis,” said Cohen from a golf course near her home in Virginia Beach.

The former reporter, who holds two degrees from Regent University, says she learned the hard way about what happens when a pandemic is politicized.

(Photo courtesy: Debbie Cohen)

“It can attack anybody from any denomination, from any state, from any political party and I realized that the virus does not discriminate,” said Cohen who is in search of a new job in journalism.

One year later, Cohen can take long walks and she has no long hauler symptoms. She is grateful for the prayers of her Regent University family and others who offered spiritual and emotional support.