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Family with brother in ICU tells community ‘COVID is real’

<i>KOVR</i><br/>Jay and Dhar Pegany's brother is one of 25 COVID patients in the ICU in Yuba-Sutter County.
Jay and Dhar Pegany's brother is one of 25 COVID patients in the ICU in Yuba-Sutter County.

By Steve Large

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    SUTTER COUNTY, California (KOVR) — A surge in Yuba and Sutter County covid cases has now left the Rideout Regional Medical Center at 142% capacity in its ICU.

There are 25 COVID patients in the ICU. One of them is 42-year-old Sunny Pegany, a father of two. He has been on a ventilator for five weeks.

His brothers Jay and Dhar Pegany spoke to CBS13 outside the hospital. They have not been able to see him in his hospital room.

“Obviously, we do a lot of praying,” Dhar Pegany said.

“Lots of prayers,” Jay Pegany said. “We’re dealing with this day by day, and it’s very nerve-wracking to get that text every day to find out what’s really happening upstairs.”

“I would just say it hit us hard when he ended up in the ER,” Dhar Pegany said. “He was on a quarantine at home for a week, developed a pneumonia.”

Rideout Memorial Medical Center’s hospitalized cases are nearly as high as they were in the January surge, and Yuba County just reported its biggest number of weekly positive cases since the pandemic began.

Rideout Memorial Medical Center’s President Rick Rawson posted a video on YouTube, imploring people to get vaccinated. Yuba County has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the state at 37%. Neighbor Sutter County is also below the state average at 46%.

“This didn’t have to be this way,” Rawson said. “Of our ICU patients, over 95 percent of them are unvaccinated.”

“I mean COVID is real,” Dhar Pegany said. “I mean, the hospital is full.”

Sunny Pegany was not vaccinated. The family says he never thought he could become so sick.

Now they have a message for everyone in Yuba and Sutter counties to hear:

“I do believe that everybody should go out and get their vaccine,” Jay Pegany said. “To protect themselves and everybody else around them,”

“We just want to say, take care of yourselves,” Dhar Pegany said. “Take it seriously, and do the best that you can to protect yourselves your family. Your neighbors.”

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