“I took my parents for that second jab, and we were all so excited,” said their son, Marc Ayers. “We are a family that believes in science. We believe in masks and we believe in vaccines. We were ready to get back to normal.”
But her mother, Candace Ayers, died almost six months later following a July trip with her husband to Mississippi. Her death certificate indicates that she died of Covid-19.
Candace Cay (Kruger) Ayers, 66, of Springfield, died on September 3, 2021 at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, IL. She was preceded in death by more than 4,531,799 other people infected with Covid -19. She was vaccinated but was infected by others who chose not to be. The price was her life. “
The tally represents the total number of coronavirus deaths worldwide.
“All of this could have been avoided,” Ayers said. “It could have been avoided by a few acts of kindness. They were in a state that had one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country. Getting vaccinated and wearing a mask for others… if that had been done, she would be here today. “
Complete vaccination gave confidence to loved ones
Because Candace had an underlying illness, her family was reluctant to leave town.
“My mother had severe rheumatoid arthritis. We were always the most worried that she would get it because she was immunocompromised,” Ayers said. “We wondered if they should have traveled.
“But things looked so good, and since they were fully vaccinated, we just had no idea they were going to Mississippi. The Delta variant had just hit the radar. Cases of rupture were rare at this point. . Our worst nightmare has come true. ”
The Ayers family are struggling to deal with Candace’s death and wanted to try and inspire others to get vaccinated and wear masks, Marc Ayers said. The daily sharing of Covid-19 death figures around the world in his obituary was meant to get people thinking, he said.
“This was to illustrate that it’s not just a problem limited to the United States, but that it has a global impact,” Ayers said. “My mom was a fighter. She kept fighting and fighting and fighting. We wanted to send a point.”
The family received positive and negative comments about the obituary, he said.
“It was really wonderful to hear from friends and strangers regarding the obituary. Because of our history,” Ayers said, “people told us they were getting vaccinated.
“Of course there are negative comments too, but the majority have been positive.”
Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the name of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He also poorly characterized breakthrough infections.
CNN’s Deidre McPhillips and Aya Elamroussi contributed to this report.