“It took watching my son die and me suffering the effects of covid for us to realize we need the vaccine,” Christy Carpenter said.
While people continue to argue about the efficacy of vaccines, people are losing their lives to the coronavirus. One family who worried about the "side-effects" of the vaccine ended up with a much more devastating loss. Christy Carpenter from Alabama lost her 28-year-old son, Curt to the dreaded disease. He ended up spending two months in the hospital before passing away. The young man did not suffer from any underlying diseases, according to his mother. "I know that if Curt had survived, he would have made sure everyone knew how serious this disease is, and how important the vaccine is," Christy Carpenter said, according to Montgomery Advertiser. "My daughter and I are now carrying out that mission in his memory."
A terrible price to pay.https://t.co/IQ8CdMThmy— Do The Right Thing (@foundation_west) July 26, 2021
The grief-stricken mom continued, "Curt thought COVID was a hoax and did not take it seriously, until he could not breathe without the oxygen. The same day he was put on the ventilator, he told us, 'This is not a hoax, this is real.'" Christy is surprised that even though she got sick and had long-term breathing issues, she survived and her son did not. Now she's urging other families to get the vaccine before it's too late. "We don’t judge anyone for their feelings regarding the COVID vaccine," Christy said. "But, if we can help keep people healthier and possibly save lives by encouraging people to take the vaccine, then Curt’s death was not in vain."
Vaccination rates in Alabama are reportedly the lowest in the country. “How much more information do we need to say that we can do this in Alabama?” said Dr. Karen Landers, Assistant State Health Officer for the Alabama Department of Public Health, last week. “We have vaccine that is readily available, it's free, it's safe, it can be given at any time. What else can we do? We've done everything we need to do, and these trends are not looking good. We could be in a really bad spot within a couple of weeks.”
Alabama now has the lowest vaccination rate in the nation as positivity rate climbs to 11.7% https://t.co/paG3ovI3PB— NBC 15 News (@mynbc15) July 22, 2021
So far, the virus has claimed about 610,000 lives across the country. Most Alabamians older than 65 are vaccinated but less than 25% of people aged 18 to 29 have got the shot. "We're not going to move the needle anymore by talking heads trying to convince people to be vaccinated," Dr. Don Williamson, president of the Alabama Hospitals Association, said. "We're now dealing with individuals who have real concerns about its safety, they've heard misinformation, and the only way you're going to correct that is by talking to people whose opinion and advice they trust. The problem with that is that its a slower process. ... The best motivator about a behavior change is to know someone or be personally affected."
As for the Carpenter family, they had to learn this the hard way but they're hoping to make a change. "I know Curt would be very passionate about people getting the vaccine," Carpenter said. "If we can encourage people to get the vaccine, and if we can save just one more life, it’s all worth it. If Curt were here today, he would be doing that. We feel we need to honor his memory and do the same."