Son urges public to get vaccinated after shedding mom to virus – Kelowna Information

Madison Erhardt

A Kelowna man is pleading with the public to get vaccinated after his mother, 54, passed away after catching COVID-19.

Aurey Harris says his mother, Kim Harris, was rushed to Kelowna General Hospital on August 11 after testing positive of COVID-19 and developing pneumonia.

The next day, she passed away.

“They said that if she was put onto a ventilator she would have maybe a 50 per cent chance of living, but as things got worse, it was barely even a chance that it would make any difference,” Harris said.

Harris says his mother had underlying health conditions that he believes were a factor in the severity of the illness.

“She had asthma her entire life, that with some other health side effects — just poor overall health — there were a lot of strikes against her, for her lungs, so when COVID came and evolved into pneumonia, she was taken down pretty severely.”

His mother was not vaccinated and lived in a home with nine other family members, none of whom were vaccinated.

Aurey Harris, 25, says two members from his mom’s home were COVID positive before she contracted the virus. He said the home had separate suites, and Kim Harris lived in her own.

“Due to her mobility being kind of limited and her working at home and ordering all of her things, she was very isolated, and getting vaccinated wasn’t a rush for her.”

Harris says he is double vaccinated and is hoping his mother’s story will inspire others to get the shot.

Being vaccinated dramatically reduces the likelihood of catching COVID-19, and in the event of a breakthrough case, a vaccinated person is 25 times less likely to be hospitalized.

“My family, a lot of them don’t really care to get the vaccine, and my mother paid the price,” Harris said.

Even after his mother’s death, Harris says many in his family are still unwilling to get vaccinated.

The other two members that tested positive are expected to recover.

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