For weeks, James Ingram told everyone that when the coronavirus vaccine came to Sunny Hill Nursing Home of Will County he wanted to be first to get it.
The fact that it ended up happening on his 93rd birthday was a happy coincidence.
“He was so thrilled and honored to lead the way in the battle against COVID-19,” said Margaret McDowell, Administrator at the county-owned facility.
Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant said, “We need leaders like James Ingram with the confidence to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated when it’s their turn. Doing this on his 93rd birthday makes it more memorable.”
Ingram said it never crossed his mind not to get the vaccination. He said when it came to the vaccination “the quicker the better.”
Vaccinations offer reassurance, he said. “They give you a lease against disease.”
Ingram has lived at Sunny Hill for 10 years and came to the facility from his home in Joliet. He is the father of seven; five still living.
McDowell said Ingram was one of 158 people who were vaccinated on Jan. 5. The state has contracted with local pharmacies to distribute the vaccine to long-term care facilities.
“This disease is still killing people isn’t it?” he said. “I’m not ready to die.”