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Omaha husband battling cancer celebrates first COVID-19 vaccine dose

Published: Mar. 9, 2021 at 5:40 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - An Omaha wife is breathing a sigh of relief after her husband, who is fighting Stage 4 cancer, was able to get the first dose of the Moderna vaccine through a local pharmacy.

6 News first spoke with Mura O’Neill-Rohe at the end of February. She spearheaded a petition when people with high-risk medical conditions, like her husband Brandon, were removed from the state’s priority list.

Now, with his first COVID-19 vaccine shot in the books and his second shot scheduled, Brandon considers himself lucky.

“There may have been some tears shed when I was getting the shot just because of the relief,” he said. “Everything seemed to make sense that day, everything fell into place, but everything had to fall into place for that to happen.”

Brandon has a major surgery coming up, and he’s hoping he’ll get the second dose before then.

Mura has been by his side through it all, mitigating risk at every turn.

“We were wiping down groceries last night and we’re like ‘only a few more weeks and I never have to do this again!”’ she said.

In a couple of weeks, their young daughter will finally go back to school, in person, for the first time in nearly a year.

Getting the first dose was a big step for this family, and they did the work themselves making calls and finding an appointment.

“It’s like the state didn’t want to do the work to take the scalpel to the problem instead of taking a hatchet,” said Brandon. “So what it does is it makes the work go on the individuals, making the calls to the pharmacy so you might have a lucky individual here or a lucky individual there, but if the state were to take the lead on this and be advocates for those at high risk, then maybe we’d have a whole bunch of lucky Nebraskans instead of pockets or individuals.”

The state says more help will soon be here for high-risk people. Last week, it was announced that when Nebraska moves into phase 2A, up to 10% of the vaccines will be for them.

“I’m holding off on the victory parade until we get a few more details and see how it works out, it’s definitely an improvement over nothing,” said Mura.

As Mura and Brandon await his second shot, their day-to-day routine stays the same, but down the line they can finally look forward to big changes in their lives.

Omaha man with high-risk condition secures vaccine
Omaha man with high-risk condition secures vaccine(Mura O'Neill)

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