A mother in Alabama is urging others to get vaccinated after she said her son died following a months-long health battle after contracting COVID-19, saying her decision not to get vaccinated is one she deeply regrets.
“It took watching my son die and me suffering the effects of covid for us to realize we need the vaccine,” Christy Carpenter said in a recent interview with The Washington Post. “We did not get vaccinated when we had the opportunity and regret that so much now.”
She said her 28-year-old son, Curt Carpenter, died in early May after having to stay in the hospital, where he received oxygen treatment for weeks, following his COVID-19 diagnosis in March.
Christy Carpenter told the Post her family had been hesitant to get vaccinated because of how quickly a vaccine became available.
“It took years to create other vaccines, and the coronavirus vaccine was created very quickly. That made us very nervous,” she told the newspaper.
The mother said she, her son and her daughter had all contracted the virus around the same time in March. She told the Post that they all had exhibited mild symptoms initially but that their conditions grew more serious within days.
Christy Carpenter said she and her son were taken to a local hospital after problems with their oxygen levels and that they both came down with pneumonia not long after.
In the weeks that followed, Christy Carpenter said her son’s health only worsened, as he continued to suffer from issues with his oxygen levels and pneumothorax before dying on May 2 after two months in the hospital.
She told the Post her son, who also has autism, was healthy prior to contracting the virus,
Now, Carpenter said she and her daughter are urging others to get vaccinated in her son’s memory.
“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,” she said.
“If we can help keep people healthier and possibly save lives by encouraging others to take the vaccine, then Curt’s death was not in vain. Life is a precious gift from God,” she added.
The story comes as Alabama has seen an uptick in coronavirus infections at a time when the state has attracted attention for having one of the country’s lowest vaccination rates.
Remarking on the increase in cases recently, Alabama Gov. Kay IveyKay IveyTeenage Alabama city councilman who voted against mask mandate tests positive for COVID-19 Facebook says removal of Alabama governor's campaign was not based on Biden comments GOP sees Biden vaccine mandates as energizing issue for midterms MORE (R) said it's “time to start blaming the unvaccinated, not the regular folks.”
“It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down,” she said, adding that folks should exercise “common sense.”
“These folks are choosing a horrible lifestyle and self-inflicted pain,” Ivey said. “You know we’ve got to get folks to take the shot. The vaccine is the greatest weapon we have to fight COVID, there’s not question about that, the data proves it.”