An Alabama mom who firmly believed the coronavirus was a hoax regrets not getting her family vaccinated after Covid killed her autistic son.
Christy Carpenter said it was only after her 28-year-old son Curt became seriously ill – and she and her daughter caught the virus – that the family realized the importance of getting vaccinated.
The son died in early May two months after being diagnosed with coronavirus and spending his last weeks on a ventilator.
‘It took watching my son die and me suffering the effects of Covid for us to realize we need the vaccine,’ the heartbroken mom told The Washington Post.
‘We did not get vaccinated when we had the opportunity and regret that so much now.’
Carpenter said she and her family had been hesitant to get a shot and had initially held the false belief that Covid-19 was a hoax.
‘It took years to create other vaccines, and the coronavirus vaccine was created very quickly,’ Christy Carpenter said. ‘That made us very nervous.’
Her boy’s haunting last words to his mom, Carpenter told the newspaper, were: ‘This is not a hoax, this is real.’
Christy Carpenter (left), an Alabama mother whose son Curt (right) died from Covid-19, has said not getting her family vaccinated is her biggest regret
Coronavirus cases are on the rise in Alabama, which has one of the country’s lowest vaccination rates with just 33.9 percent of those eligible having been fully vaccinated, according to figures from the Alabama Department of Public Health. Some 41.6 percent of those eligible have received at least one dose.
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,’ she told the newspaper.
‘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 possibly save lives by encouraging others to take the vaccine, then Curt’s death was not in vain,’ she said.
Carpenter said that she does not want others to repeat her mistake and hopes that her son’s death will remind people of the importance of getting vaccinated
Curt was a young and otherwise healthy man when he contracted the virus, which his mother and younger sister were also diagnosed with on March 5, the mom said.
The three initially suffered only mild symptoms and appeared to be getting better. But al a week later, both the mom and son’s oxygen levels dropped, and they were rushed to Birmingham’s Grandview Medical Center.
They both developed pneumonia and Curt was put on a ventilator. He also suffered a collapsed lung that, combined with his unstable oxygen levels, led his organs to begin shutting down. He died on May 2.
The mom said that after leaving the hospital she could not drive or work until late May and remains on pulmonary therapy. Carpenter told the paper she is still suffering from fatigue, hair loss and ‘covid brain.’
‘I lose my train of thought easily, can’t remember parts of conversations, can’t remember people’s names that I have known for years.
‘I sometimes think I’m going crazy, but I know I’m not.’
Curt (left), Christy (center) and Cayla (right) were diagnosed with Covid-19 on March 5
Last week, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said unvaccinated residents were ‘letting us down,’ adding that it was ‘time to start blaming the unvaccinated, not the regular folks’.
‘These folks are choosing a horrible lifestyle and self-inflicted pain,’ Ivey said of the unvaccinated while describing vaccines as ‘the greatest weapon we have to fight Covid.’
‘That’s the cure. That prevents everything. Why do we want to mess around with just temporary stuff?
‘We don’t need to just encourage people to go halfway with curing this disease. Let’s get it done.
‘We know what it takes to get it done. Get a shot in your arm. I’ve done it. It’s safe. The data proves it. It doesn’t cost anything. It saves lives.’
The United States has the highest coronavirus death toll in the world, with at least 610,000 people having died from Covid-19 since the pandemic reached the country in early 2020.
The U.S. has recorded more than 34.4million cases, including 15,711 on Sunday. Deaths in the country have dropped significantly, thanks in large part to a successful vaccine campaign which has seen more than half of the population receive both shots.