A Virginia couple who refused the COVID-19 shot died from the disease, leaving their four children behind.
Kevin and Misty Mitchem, both in their 40s, refused the COVID-19 vaccine, despite their family urging them to get the shot.
Kevin's mother said some of his last words to her were, "Mom, I love you, and I wish that I'd got the shot."
A Virginia couple who refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19 died from the disease just weeks apart. They are survived by their four children and their relatives who tried to encourage them to get the shot.
Kevin and Misty Mitchem both caught COVID-19 and were hospitalized after they opted not to get the vaccine.
"They'd just been leery. They were going off what they've been hearing and reading on the internet," Mike Mitchem, Kevin's brother, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Mike did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
Data from the CDC has shown that Pfizer and Moderna's two-shot vaccine series are highly effective at preventing COVID-19 infections. Approximately 61.9% of Virginia's population is fully vaccinated, compared to 56.8% of the U.S. population that is fully vaccinated, according to CDC data.
Kevin, 48, became ill and was told to rest at home after he tested positive for COVID-19, Mike told the Times-Dispatch. Shortly after, Misty, who was 46 and living with diabetes, got sick, too.
Misty was rushed to Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg and put on a ventilator. She died soon after on September 23, according to the Times-Dispatch.
"It really came out of nowhere," Mike told the outlet.
Don Mitchem, Kevin's father, said Kevin called him when Misty went to the hospital and when he later went himself, according to NBC 4. Don went to the hospital to see Kevin before he was put on a ventilator.
"He said, 'Dad, I'm scared to death,'" Don told NBC 4, adding that he told Kevin to call his mother, Terry.
"He called me up and said, 'Mom, I love you and I wish that I'd got the shot,'" Terry told NBC 4. "Of course I told him, 'It's past. You can't do anything about it.'"
Both Don and Terry already had their COVID-19 booster shots and had tried to convince Kevin and Misty to get vaccinated.
While Mike noted that Kevin was "healthy" and "very active," COVID-19 damaged his lungs beyond repair, the Times-Dispatch reported. He died on October 8.
Mike said he felt angry about his brother's death.
"Part of our pain is anger," Mike told the Times-Dispatch. "Anger because people are still not getting the vaccine."
Kevin and Misty leave behind their four children, ages 11 to 17. Kevin had an older daughter and a grandson as well.
"He had everything to live for," Mike told the Times-Dispatch about his brother. "He had five kids and a grandson, and now all of them have lost him."
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