Mother-of-four dies of Covid days after giving birth as widower makes vaccine plea

24 August 2021, 21:14

The coffin of Samantha Willis from Strathfoyle is taken from St Columb's Church, Londonderry, after her funeral. The mother-of-four died with Covid-19 shortly after giving birth on Friday.
The coffin of Samantha Willis from Strathfoyle is taken from St Columb's Church, Londonderry, after her funeral. The mother-of-four died with Covid-19 shortly after giving birth on Friday. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

There were tearful scenes in Londonderry on Monday as an unvaccinated mother was laid to rest after dying from Covid-19 before being able to meet her baby daughter.

Samantha Willis, from Strathfoyle, died on August 20 after contracting coronavirus and never had the chance to hold her baby girl, Eviegrace.

The 35-year-old was laid to rest at St Columb's Church on Monday, while her two-week-old daughter was baptised during the service.

The mother-of-four had not been vaccinated against coronavirus, and her husband Josh has since urged others to come forward for the jab.

Read more: Medics plead for people to get jabs in powerful calls after "needless" anti-vaxxer deaths

Husband Josh with his newborn daughter Eviegrace, being carried by a relative.
Husband Josh with his newborn daughter Eviegrace, being carried by a relative. Picture: Alamy

He said on Facebook: "This week has been the worst week of my life.

"On Friday I lost my wife in the early hours of the morning. She died peacefully two weeks after giving birth to our beautiful daughter Eviegrace. She died of Covid-19. She was 35. She had no underlying problems. She wasn’t vaccinated!"

He urged others on Twitter to get vaccinated, saying the virus "is real, the numbers are real".

"Get your vaccine so you or your family don’t have to go through what I have had to," he said.

"As I write this I am laying beside her, she is 35, unvaccinated and in a coffin. Let that sink in!"

Read more: More than 99 per cent of pregnant women taken to hospital with Covid-19 are unvaccinated

Read more: 'Are you pregnant?' button added to NHS Covid vaccine booking site

Mrs Willis died peacefully two weeks after giving birth to their beautiful daughter Eviegrace, and also leaves behind her daughters, aged 14 and 4, and son, 17.

Mr Willis said she had no underlying health conditions but wasn't vaccinated.

Several devastating stories have emerged in recent weeks of people who have died with Covid after refusing to take the vaccine.

Doctors have called for people to get jabbed to prevent "needless" deaths of those who are anti-vaccine, and there have been calls for pregnant women to come forward.