Funeral of Florida man who died of Covid-19 turned into vaccination and testing event

Family of Marquis Davis said his dying wish was that he had got inoculated

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Monday 09 August 2021 19:40 BST
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COVID victim’s family turn wake into vaccination and testing event

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The funeral of a Florida man who died from Covid-19 was turned into a vaccination and testing event in his honour.

Marquis Davis , 28, was unvaccinated when he became ill and told his widow that he regretted that decision before he was hooked up to a ventilator and later died.

So Charnese Davis and her husband’s family teamed up with Florida Health to offer vaccine shots at his wake and funeral service.

Ms Davis said her husband fell ill in late July and tested positive for the virus the next day.

He quarantined at home but got increasingly sick.

“He was losing his breath just by getting up. I was like, this is not normal, you need extra help,” she told ABC News.

Mr Davis, who cared for four nephews, a niece and his own eight-year-old son, was taken to hospital where he was put on an oxygen machine to help his breathing.

“He was there about six days and then finally they said he’s not going to make it,” she added.

She said that her husband had been hesitant to get vaccinated, but had promised to get it after he recovered.

“He was in the hospital. He said, ‘Bae, I’m going to get the vaccine when I get out of here.’ So he was going to get it. I was like ‘Good, I’m so happy you said that, but it’s too late,’” she said.

When the family’s church, Faith Temple Christian Center in Rockledge, Florida, approached her about offering the vaccine and Covid-19 testing they immediately agreed.

“Now we’re seeing things completely shift with this delta variant. Marquis was 28 years old, had the rest of his life in front of him, and because of Covid-19, specifically this delta variant, and he was not vaccinated, his life was cut short,” said pastor Dr R Shaun Ferguson.

“Our position as a church is let’s get this cut. Let’s do this. I don’t want to see another person lose their life, period.”

Florida has seen 2.73m cases of Covid-19, and there have been 39,695 deaths during the pandemic.

The positivity rate in the state has surged since May, with just 50.6 per cent of the state being fully vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins data.

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