A Minnesota mother of four whose daughter "begged" and "pleaded" for her to get vaccinated has died of COVID-19. Now, the unvaccinated woman's husband—who himself spent more than two weeks in the hospital with the virus—is joining his daughter in urging others to get the vaccine.
Jeremy Voss shared in a November 29 Facebook post that his wife, Monica, had died on November 26. She was 40. Voss—who is now out of the hospital but still on oxygen—told CBS affiliate WCCO Minnesota that he spent Thanksgiving weekend planning his wife's funeral. He opened up about how hard the death has been on him and his family: "We've known each other since we were 15. We've been together 25 years. We've been married 20 years… Think if you had to tell your kids that you're not going to see their mom or dad for the rest of their life."
Voss, who was also unvaccinated, told the news station that he hopes by sharing his family's story, others will be moved to get the vaccine, potentially saving lives.
Voss initially revealed that he and his wife had been hospitalized with COVID-19 in a Facebook post on October 31. That post included photos and a video of himself wearing an oxygen mask. "If you don't see or hear from myself or Monica for awhile, we are both being hospitalized for COVID right now," he wrote. "Probably be here at least [a] few weeks."
In that same post, Voss went on to encourage other people to get the COVID-19 vaccine. "If you haven't got the vaccine, just go get it," he wrote. "This right here isn't worth it. Can barely get out of hospital bed and constantly on oxygen tube right now. So please, just go get it for you and your kids to be safe. I don't know for sure when I can leave or what condition I will leave in or what side effects I may have."
In another post that encouraged the vaccine, Voss acknowledged that he used to deny its importance. "Yes I used to be against the shot," he wrote. "Yes I have anti-vax stuff posted on my page. Be an adult, a grown up and realize now how I am trying to use my opportunity to reach someone and make a true difference!"
Voss' daughter, Faith Voss-Paulson, who is a surgical technician, wrote a lengthy Facebook post in late October about how she had previously urged her parents to get vaccinated. She even included a screenshot from a text with her dad where he had written, "Sorry I didn't believe you or listen to you. I should've got the vaccine."
In the caption, Voss-Paulson addressed misinformation about the vaccine. "To my parents' friends who thought they knew better. To the ones who promoted medical misinformation, to those who encouraged my parents to follow you blindly in your quest of being against masks and vaccines," she wrote. "I hope you're happy, and I hope that you're proud that you were able to have my parents completely disregard medical SCIENCE and for them to tell their daughter who studies MEDICINE that she is wrong, I hope you're freaking proud… my parents believed you. And know what? They're in the ICU right now with COVID & pneumonia."
Voss-Paulson said she "begged" and "pleaded" with her parents to get the vaccine. "But because ignorant fools decide to spread false information, my parents didn't believe me," she wrote. "My heart breaks to get this [text] as a response from my father. I am so furious and scared. I pray to God none of you have to deal with both of your parents in the ICU because of COVID."
In the days since her mom's death, Voss-Paulson has posted to Facebook to ask for prayers. "This season will be incredibly difficult for my family to navigate through," she wrote. "Prayers are always welcome and appreciated."
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