Dwight & Brenda
A COVID Story

Place of Residence: McLeansboro, Illinois

Married for 54 years, Dwight and Brenda loved spending time with their family, especially their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Because they lived in a small town, they didn’t think COVID was a threat to them and decided not to get vaccinated. Sadly, they ended up hospitalized and lost their lives to COVID within one day of each other in August 2021.

Below in his own words, their son, Windell, shares the story of losing both of his parents to COVID-19. 

How would you describe your parents?

My dad was a Vietnam veteran who worked as a welder at the local railroad and my mom worked as a physical therapy assistant at the local hospital. Family was the most important thing to my parents. They loved spending time with their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We did a lot of family activities together because we’re from a small town and live so close to one another.

How did your parents get sick and when did you know it was serious?

Both of my parents started feeling under the weather and decided to get tested for COVID. My mom was a cancer survivor, a diabetic, and had heart surgery several years ago.

My dad suffered a stroke and a heart attack a few years ago. Because of their advanced age, I knew that if they got sick with COVID, they were more likely to have complications.

In early August 2021, both of my parents tested positive for COVID and ended up in the hospital. My mom was transferred to an out-of-state hospital because of her condition, but my dad was given immunotherapy and released. However, he ended up having a fall and had to be readmitted to the local hospital. During her hospital stay, my mom wouldn’t keep her oxygen mask on, so she was intubated and never recovered from there. During his hospital stay, my dad fell for the second time and his condition continued to worsen.


My dad died in our local hospital on August 19th and my mom died in an out-of-state hospital just one day later, on August 20th.
Were your parents vaccinated?

Even though I was vaccinated and had asked my parents to please get vaccinated several times, neither of them did. They just didn’t think COVID was a threat to them because we lived in a small town.

What advice would you give to people who don’t want to get a COVID vaccine?

I want folks to think twice about not getting vaccinated because COVID is a real risk. The doctors told me that if my parents had been vaccinated, they probably would have pulled through. Instead, I lost both of my parents to COVID within 24 hours.

Windell shares his parents’ story in hopes that people realize the seriousness of COVID and the importance of vaccination.

 

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