Candice Ayers of Springfield, Illinois: A family says in its obituary that a mother’s death with COVID-19 could have been prevented if more people had been vaccinated
“I took my dad to take a second hit, and we were all so excited,” said their son, Mark Ayers. “We are a family that believes in science. We believe in masks, we believe in vaccines. We were ready to go back to normal.”
But his mother, Candice Ayers, died about six months later after a July trip with her husband to Mississippi. Her death certificate says she died of Covid-19.
“Candice Kay (Kruger) Ayers, 66, of Springfield, died on September 3, 2021, at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Illinois. She was preceded by 4,531,799 more deaths with Covid-19. She was vaccinated but became infected by others who chose Shouldn’t they be. The cost was her life.”
This number represents the total number of deaths from the Corona virus in the world.
“All of this could have been avoided,” Ayers said. “This could have been prevented with some kind action. They were in a state that has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country. Getting a vaccine and wearing a mask for others…If that had been done, she would be here today.”
Full vaccination gave relatives confidence
Because Candice had an underlying condition, her family hesitated to leave town.
“My mother had severe rheumatoid arthritis,” Ayers said. “We were grappling with whether they should travel.
“But things were looking pretty good, and with them fully inoculated, we had no idea they were going to Mississippi. The Delta variant was hitting the radar. Breakouts were rare at that point. Our worst nightmare came true.”
Mark Ayers said the Ayers family was having a hard time processing Candice’s death and wanted to try to inspire others to get a vaccine and wear a mask. Sharing daily Covid-19 death figures worldwide in her obituary, he said, aims to get people to stop.
“This was to make it clear that this is not just an issue for the United States but has a global impact,” Ayers said. “My mom was a fighter. She kept fighting and fighting and fighting. We wanted to send a point.”
He said the family received both positive and negative reactions to the obituary.
“It was really great to hear from friends and strangers about obituaries,” Ayers said. “Because of our story, people told us they were getting vaccinated.
“Of course there are negative comments as well, but the majority were positive.”
revision: An earlier version of this story misspelled the name of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It also mischaracterized the penetrating infection.
Deidre MacPhillips and Aya Amroussi contributed to this report.