A mother whose son died of Covid-19 has said her biggest regret is not getting her family vaccinated.
Christy Carpenter, of Alabama, said it was only after her son Curt became seriously ill and she contracted the virus herself that the family realized the importance of getting vaccinated.
Curt, 28, died in early May, two months after being diagnosed with coronavirus and spending weeks on oxygen.
‘It took us to watch my son die and I suffered the effects of covid to realize we need the vaccine’
“We didn’t get vaccinated when we had the chance and we regret it so much now,” she said The Washington Post.
Carpenter said she and her family were hesitant to take a chance and initially held the false belief that Covid-19 was a hoax.
“It took years to make other vaccines and the coronavirus vaccine was made very quickly,” said Christy Carpenter. “That made us very nervous.”
The United States has the highest death toll from coronavirus in the world, with at least 610,000 people having died from Covid-19 since the pandemic hit the country in early 2020.
The US has recorded more than 34.4 million cases, including 15,711 on Sunday. The number of deaths in the country has fallen significantly, thanks in large part to a successful vaccine campaign in which more than half of the population received both injections.
Christy Carpenter (left), an Alabama mother whose son Curt (right) died of Covid-19, has said her biggest regret is not getting her family vaccinated
Scott Harris, chief executive of the Alabama Department of Public Health, told The Washington Post that the unvaccinated accounted for more than 95 percent of current coronavirus hospitalizations in the state.
“If Curt were here today, he would make it his mission to encourage everyone to get vaccinated.
“Cayla, his sister and I are carrying out that mission in his memory.”
Carpenter described her son, who had autism, as someone who “lived life to the fullest” and enjoyed Pokémon, trains, video games, and frogs.
“If we can help keep people healthier and potentially save lives by encouraging others to take the vaccine, Curt’s death was not in vain,” she said.
Carpenter said she doesn’t want others to repeat her mistake and hopes Curt’s death will remind people of the importance of vaccination
The paper reported that Curt was a young and otherwise healthy man when he contracted the virus, of which his mother and younger sister were also diagnosed on March 5.
The three initially suffered only mild symptoms and seemed to get better until a week later Carpenter and Curt’s oxygen levels dropped and they were rushed to Grandview Medical Center in Birmingham.
They both got pneumonia and Curt was put on a ventilator. He also suffered from a collapsed lung that, combined with his unstable oxygen levels, caused his organs to shut down. He died on May 2.
Carpenter told The Washington Post that the last words Curt said to her were, “This isn’t a hoax, this is real.”
She said that after leaving the hospital, she was unable to drive or work until the end of May and is still receiving lung therapy. Carpenter told the paper she still suffers from fatigue, hair loss and ‘covid brain’.
‘I easily lose my train of thought, can’t remember parts of conversations, can’t remember the names of people I’ve known for years.
“Sometimes I think I’m going crazy, but I know I’m not.”
Coronavirus cases are on the rise in Alabama, which has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country, with just 33.9 percent of those eligible for full vaccination, according to figures from the Alabama Department of Public Health. About 41.6 percent of those who qualify have received at least one dose.
A hesitant population isn’t the only hurdle for public health officials in the state, which has also had trouble rolling out the shots caused by supply problems.
Curt (left), Christy (center) and Cayla (right) were diagnosed with Covid-19 on March 5.
Last week, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said unvaccinated residents were “letting us down,” adding that it was “time to blame the unvaccinated people, not the common people.”
“It’s the unvaccinated people that let us down,” she said, urging people to use “common sense.”
“These people are choosing horrible lifestyles and self-inflicted pain,” Ivey said of the unvaccinated, describing vaccines as “the greatest weapon we have to fight COVID.”
‘That’s the cure. That prevents everything. Why do we want to mess with only temporary things?
“We don’t just have to encourage people to go half way in curing this disease. Let’s get it done.
“We know what it takes to make it happen. Get a shot in the arm. I did it. It’s safe. The data proves it. It costs nothing. It saves lives.’