- The baby of a woman who died of COVID after giving birth got baptized at her mother’s funeral.
- Samantha Willis from Northern Ireland died after giving birth and was not able to hold her daughter.
- Willis was advised against getting a vaccine during her pregnancy due to the lack of research.
The newborn child of a woman who died from COVID-19 after giving birth was baptized at her mother’s funeral in Derry, Northern Ireland, the UK.
Samantha Willis, a 35-year-old care worker, died on August 20 after a 16-day battle with the coronavirus. She had given birth to her daughter, Eviegrace, several days prior but never got to hold the baby over fears of transmission.
Joe Clifford, who led the service on Monday, told the Belfast Telegraph that this was the first time in his career that he conducted a baptism and a funeral at the same time.
“Especially when Samantha birthed forth new life just days ago, it doesn’t make sense,” Clifford said, according to the Telegraph. “Here comes new life into the world, planned and chosen, and the excitement of looking forward to it, and it came out of this suffering body, a body which was on life support.”
Willis had no underlying health conditions but did not get vaccinated because she was told to avoid it during her pregnancy until more research was available, a GoFundMe page, which has since raised almost £13,000 for the family, said.
Her husband, Josh, has since urged everyone to get vaccinated. He told the Belfast Telegraph he was determined his newborn daughter will know about her mother.
“I will never let anyone forget you and I will remember all the special times and experiences we shared together,” he said. “The children are now my main priority. All I want to do now is make Samantha proud.”
Willis leaves behind three other children.