'She's 35, unvaccinated and in a coffin' - husband's vaccine plea after wife's death
Samatha Willis contracted Covid while heavily pregnant and died weeks after delivering the couple's fourth child
In the same church where she married her husband, Samantha Willis was laid to rest on Monday after she contracted Covid. During the same service, her baby who she never met was baptised.
The funeral took place hours after her heartbroken husband, Josh Willis, urged people to get vaccinated in a series of devastating social media posts.
"She is 35, unvaccinated and in a coffin. Let that sink in," he wrote.
The 35-year-old mother-of-four was taken to Altnagelvin Hospital, Northern Ireland on Friday having fought Covid for 16 days.
The healthcare worker, who had no underlying health conditions, gave birth to daughter Eviegrace just two weeks before she passed away. She leaves behind three other children, her son Shea and daughters Holly and Lilyanna.
The funeral and baptism took place in the same church where Samantha and Josh tied the knot two years earlier. Father Sean O'Donnell, said it was a sad first for him.
"It is sadness and joy all at the same time, but never brought together as close as this. And the joy of baptism of this new life doesn't minimise death, but rather the sadness that brings us here all in the context of faith," he told Metro.
On Sunday, Josh wrote on Twitter: "I spent hrs in ICU on Thur/Friday with my wife who passed away. It's real, the numbers are real. Get your vaccine so you or your family don't have to go through what I have had to. As I write this I am laying beside her, she is 35, unvaccinated and in a coffin. Let that sink in!"
I spent hrs in ICU on Thur/Friday with my wife who passed away. It’s real, the numbers are real. Get your vaccine so you or your family don’t have to go through what I have had to. As I write this I am laying bside her, she is 35, unvaccinated and in a coffin. Let that sink in!💔 https://t.co/9qgP5tGbeB
— Signed Memorabilia (@Starsigned_Mem) August 22, 2021
Josh wrote on Facebook last week: "Today has been the worst day of my life. I have lost the love of my life Samantha to Covid-19. Samantha had put up a strong fight for the last 16 days.
"Myself, her mother and two eldest children were by her side. She was in no pain and was comfortable when she slipped away."
Josh went on to describe how his wife had to deliver the family's newest addition while battling Covid, a child who "she has never met properly or held in her arms".
"I will make sure that Evie Grace will know all about the mother she will never meet," Josh wrote.
"I will never let anyone forget you and I will remember all the special times and experiences we shared together. The children are now my main priority.
"All I want to do now is make Samantha proud. I'm sure she's already looking down and proud of how we are coping.
"We are also proud of her, she was a wonderful, loving and caring person and she has been our super hero the last few weeks. She is now our guardian angel and she will remain in our hearts and thoughts for ever more.
"We love you loads and miss you. We wish we could only have helped you get home to live the rest of your life with us. I will never stop loving you and we will do our best to make you proud until we see you again. Sleep tight my Queen. Love you."