Friday was a devastating day for Josh Willis as his wife, mother of four, lost her battle to COVID-19. She contracted the disease when she was heavily pregnant with their fourth child and died two weeks after giving birth.
35-year-old Samantha Willis had not been vaccinated, and now her widowed husband is urging everyone to get their jabs. Willis said on Twitter:
I spent hrs in ICU on Thur/Friday with my wife who passed away. It's real, the numbers are real. Get your vaccine so you or your family don't have to go through what I have had to. As I write this I am laying beside her, she is 35, unvaccinated and in a coffin. Let that sink in!
He wrote on Facebook last week that ‘the love of his life’ had been fighting the infection for 16 days, but eventually succumbed to the disease. Despite her devastating condition, her last moments alive were pain-free and she was surrounded by loved ones. He wrote:
Samantha had put up a strong fight for the last 16 days.
Myself, her mother and two eldest children were by her side. She was in no pain and was comfortable when she slipped away.
Samantha Willis passed away in Altnagelvin Hospital in Northern Ireland, and her funeral was held at Derry’s St Columb’s Church. In the same service, the couple's newborn daughter, Eviegrace, got baptised.
Unvaccinated pregnant women
Last month the BBC reported that out of the 600,000 plus pregnant women in the UK, only around 51,000 received at least one of their doses. This is highly concerning given that the UK Obstetric Surveillance data found that one in seven pregnant women infected with COVID required intensive care. Furthermore, in the months leading up to July, 171 unvaccinated expecting mothers were hospitalised.
Given this startling data, English authorities have been urging pregnant women to get either the Pfizer or Moderna jab to protect themselves and their babies. England’s chief midwife, Jacquiline Dunkley-Bent appealed:
Vaccines save lives, and this is another stark reminder that the Covid-19 jab can keep you, your baby and your loved ones, safe and out of hospital.