West Kelowna Indigenous fashion designer pleads for others to get vaccinated | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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West Kelowna Indigenous fashion designer pleads for others to get vaccinated

West Kelowna fashion designer, Jill Setah, is urging others to accept the COVID-19 vaccine.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Jill Setah
September 14, 2021 - 7:00 AM

An established Indigenous fashion designer in West Kelowna is speaking out about vaccines after a long battle with the virus earlier this year.

Jill Setah said her own struggle with COVID-19 was scary and now a family member has the virus, is currently incubated, and fighting for their life at Kelowna General Hospital. She lost her brother-in-law to the virus last week, and has other family members sick with it.

While Setah has been using traditional methods of healing, said the virus is above all traditional medicines at this point.

“Please get vaccinated,” she said. “I tried all the traditional medicines and nothing worked for me. The virus was so bad I couldn’t eat and had a fever for over a week. I ended up in a hospital for four days. I felt like my body was giving up and there was nothing I could do.”

READ MORE: West Kelowna Indigenous fashion designer ready for New York City runway

Setah was vaccinated after her illness and subsequent quarantine, and has since been visiting friends and family who are hospitalized.

“I am doing smudging and tying traditional medicine bundles to the ends of their beds made of sage, tobacco and cedar for healing and protection,” she said. “I made fish head soup for a family member for the first time to promote her appetite. I sit in the ICU and pray and be patient. I also dropped off Indian tea and soapberry juice to some to improve their health.”

Setah said she no longer allows unvaccinated people in her house after experiencing COVID-19 in order to protect her family. She said she received huge support from her community when she was sick, so she is giving back.

“I am doing everything I can to help and trying to hold myself together,” she said. “I don’t want to lose more people. My biggest hope is that everyone accepts the vaccine.”

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