Hospital worker stresses importance of vaccine after 92-year-old grandfather dies from coronavirus

HOUSTON – A hospital worker is urging people to get the COVID-19 vaccine after her grandfather died just before the vaccine was made available.

The pandemic has devastated so many lives in the last several months.

Brigid Roberson, head of security for Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center, said she has seen what COVID-19 has done to families, including her own.

“This whole COVID time has been very, very difficult,” Roberson said.

And she has now experienced it first hand after her grandfather, 92-year-old James Avery, passed away from it in December of 2020.

“By the time they found out he had COVID, then he went to the ER, he couldn’t talk or anything, like, that he had to be intubated,” Roberson said.

She said he contracted coronavirus from a healthcare worker in his nursing home last month.

They found out he was really sick on Dec. 5 and Avery died two days later.

“I couldn’t be with him in the hospital, I couldn’t whisper to him just hold on, just hold on a little longer, there’s a vaccine coming,” Roberson said.

She said her grandfather was the life of the party. She said he wanted to be surrounded by friends and family and wanted everyone around him to be happy.

“Young, not old because my grandfather still had a girlfriend and he lived life to the fullest and he loved having birthday parties,” Roberson said.

She said she doesn’t want anyone to experience not being able to hold their loved ones when they are in the hospital. She hopes people will listen to her story and her message.

“And nobody wants to be in that hospital room staring at their loved ones through a glass not able to talk or have any human interaction,” Roberson said. “We got to make sure we’re doing our part to protect our loved ones. Do your part and get immunized and get your loved ones immunized.”