The death of an Illinois woman fully vaccinated from COVID-19 was caused by those who were unvaccinated, her family said in an obituary.
Candace Ayers, a 66-year-old woman from Springfield, died Sept. 3 after contracting the virus in a breakthrough case.
“She was preceded in death by more than 4,531,799 others infected with COVID-19,” the obituary states. “She was vaccinated but was infected by others who chose not to be. The cost was her life.”
The family believes Ayers caught COVID-19 in mid-July in Mississippi while visiting a friend whose husband also died of the virus, according to The State Journal-Register. Ayers’ husband of nearly 43 years, Terry Ayers, caught the virus at the same time and survived, their son said.
She suffered “severe, irreversible lung damage from COVID-19” and died within minutes of her family taking her off the ventilator, family members told the newspaper.
Vaccination rates in Mississippi are among the lowest in the nation, with 42% of its total population fully vaccinated as of Tuesday, the state health department reported.
“We’re a family that believes in science and the recommendations of experts in the medical community,” one of Ayers’ two adult children, Marc Ayers, wrote on Facebook after his parents contracted COVID. “We were responsible, we wore masks indoors, and were so happy to have received a full vaccine so we could exit this pandemic and move on with our lives. Unfortunately some of you bought into the political nature of this crisis and threatened the lives of my family.”
He told the State Journal-Register people who have politicized the vaccine “perpetuated the cycle of pain for our family and so many others.”
As of Sept. 7, at least 2,675 people have died due to breakthrough COVID-19 cases, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of these, 2,331 were people 65 years or older.
Candace Ayers was described in her obituary as a woman who ”had a fine knack for speaking her mind, a great eye for detail (and) an amazing ability to organize.” She previously worked as a orthodontic assistant before later shifting to a job at a cardiac cath lab.
She was also a grandmother to triplet 5-year-olds “who were the loves of her life.”
Ayers is among the more than 27,000 people who have died from COVID-19 in Illinois since the beginning of the pandemic, The New York Times reported.