Curt Carpenter, a 28-year-old man from Alabama, died from COVID-19 days after calling the pandemic a hoax and refusing to get vaccinated. In his last days, Carpenter, who was autistic, told his mother Christy Carpenter, "This is not a hoax, this is real."
Carpenter, who did not suffer from any other pre-existing conditions except being overweight, was diagnosed with the fatal virus in March. He spent 51-days in the ICU at Grandview Medical Center in Birmingham.
Carpenter Was Diagnosed With COVID-19 in March
Speaking to The Washington Post, Christy said that it was only after contracting COVID-19 that his son believed the virus to be real and not a hoax. "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 said.
Claiming that Carpenter, who died on May 2, would have strongly advocated for getting vaccinated had he been alive, the grieving mother added: "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."
"It's very difficult, especially when it's a young person who had no health issues," she said. "It's what COVID does to the body. It's a horrible, horrible, horrible illness."
Anti-Vaxxer's Mother Vows to Campaign for Vaccine
Revealing that she regrets not getting Carpenter or her family vaccinate when they had the opportunity, Christy said that they were hesitant to take the vaccine.
"It took years to create other vaccines, and the coronavirus vaccine was created very quickly," said the mother, adding, "That made us very nervous."
"It took watching my son die and me suffering the effects of covid for us to realize we need the vaccine. We did not get vaccinated when we had the opportunity and regret that so much now," Christy told the outlet.
The grieving parent further claimed that they would now encourage people to get vaccinated. Reportedly Alabama is the least vaccinated state in the country with merely 33.9 percent of eligible adults fully vaccinated.
"We find that there's a lot of mistrust with messages that come from state government, from public health, in particular, from the media," said Scott Harris, chief executive of the Alabama Department of Public Health while speaking to The Washington Post.
"It's just a multilayered problem. There's just a lot of different people who have a lot of different reasons for not getting the vaccine. And it's just hard to address them in a big way."