A local family is urging the public to get vaccinated after COVID-19 took the life of a mother and son just weeks apart.
Lori Underwood, 60, died Sunday afternoon after contracting COVID-19. Underwood’s son, David, 35, died July 14.
Underwood’s son leaves behind a 10-year-old son of his own.
It was early July when Underwood’s family of four began showing symptoms of COVID-19 such as a fever, cough and difficulty breathing.
The family initially wrote off the diagnoses until Underwood and her son were hospitalized. Underwood’s husband and daughter successfully fought off the virus.
By sharing their story, they say if just one person decides to get vaccinated, their loved one didn’t die in vain.
“They were so loving and caring,” said Underwood’s daughter, Emrys. “They would do anything for anyone. They were the best people.”
Both Underwood and her son were hospitalized at the Norman Regional Healthplex. After showing signs of improvement, Underwood was transferred to Select Specialty Hospital in northwest Oklahoma City for rehab.
“She was doing so much better, we could go in and hold her hand,” said Emrys. “She was eating. She was laughing, watching tv and then it just got bad really quick.”
Within 24 hours, Underwood lost her battle to COVID-19.
Family said Underwood’s family was not vaccinated. Underwood’s sister, Shari Folsom, said it was something Underwood regretted from her hospital bed.
“She texted me and said she felt stupid because she didn’t get the shots yet,” said Folsom.
“‘I wish I would have got that shot.’ I hear a lot of survivors say that and my family didn’t hear that,” said Folsom. “I feel for her daughter and husband because they lost half of their family. They are only half a family now.”
“We all wish we would have got our shots beforehand, because I know my mom and brother would still be here if they did,” said Emrys.
For now, it is long and tight hugs that is getting the family through. A family that would do anything to turn back time.
“I’d tell them to come back, come back and get your shot,” said Folsom.
The entire family said they are almost due for their second COVID-19 vaccine dose.
The Underwood family launched a GoFundMe page so they can afford headstones for Underwood and her son’s gravesite.
Underwood and her husband were married for 19 years.