Buffalo High School social studies teacher Mike Curry is being treated for COVID-19 at an intensive care unit in River Falls, Wisconsin, according to his family.
According to his sister, Melissa Zuniga, he developed COVID-19 in early November and it evolved into COVID pneumonia. Despite an antibody infusion earlier this week, his oxygen level dropped dangerously low and he took a "turn for the worse" on Wednesday, at which point he was transported to a critical care unit.
"They had to open his airways to help him breathe," Zuniga said, noting in social media posts that her brother is not vaccinated. He was able to eat some food on Thursday, Zuniga said in a Facebook comment.
The Minnesota Department of Health revealed statewide data last week that said unvaccinated people are 17 times more likely to be hospitalized by COVID-19 than vaccinated people, and those who are not vaccinated are 19 times more likely to die from the disease.
Prior to being admitted to the ICU, Zuniga said Curry could barely speak and wasn't able to eat or drink. Minnesota's hospital capacity crisis also affected his situation, with his sister saying he had to wait at the hospital for a bed because there were "no beds within the entire state of MN" available at that time.
"He is a healthy guy, hardly ever sick. He was hit like a ton of bricks with this," Zuniga explained in a GoFundMe campaign for Curry's family that has raised more than $6,000.
Curry is the father of five children in addition to three stepchildren. Four children, including a 3-year-old, still live at home with Curry, according to his sister.
School staff have been hit hard by COVID-19 over the duration of the pandemic. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, 16 staff have died and 263 teachers have been hospitalized, including 53 in the ICU.
Buffalo Hanover Montrose Schools district currently has 13 staff and 42 students out with COVID-19, according to the district's COVID-19 dashboard.