CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — As the number of people getting COVID-19 vaccines continues to decline, a Chesapeake man is asking people on the fence to consider getting the shot to protect those like his mom.
Marie Gibson is an emergency room nurse and cancer survivor who is dying from COVID.
“My mom was, in my opinion of course, the greatest person in the world,” Zach Gibson told WAVY.
Just eight months ago the mother and son were dancing at his wedding. Later today he will kiss her goodbye for the last time.
“Everybody always says God has a plan; I wish his plan was different,” he said.
58-year-old Marie was an emergency room nurse with Bon Secours for as long as Zach can remember. He told WAVY.com, “Being a nurse she cared about everybody she would help everybody with just about anything they could possibly need.”
That was the case even when it put her own health at risk.
Marie was diagnosed with breast cancer last June. She successfully endured eight months of chemotherapy and surgery and returned to work in mid-March. She caught COVID two weeks later.
“Her immune system was still building back up. It was better, but obviously not 100% like it used to be,” Gibson said.
He said that doctors wanted Marie to wait on getting the vaccine, so she was not immunized when she returned to the ER. She has been on a ventilator now for five weeks.
“With such a low chance of her ever coming off the ventilator and living somewhat of a normal life, it’s such a low chance, that we think it’s the right decision to go ahead and end the suffering that she’s going through right now,” Gibson explained.
He said he isn’t one to show emotion or presume to tell anyone what to do, “It’s your choice whether or not you want to get the vaccine, but at the same time it’s something so simple that can save lives.”
So, he urges the unvaccinated to consider the potential cost to others. “It’s definitely very, very difficult and I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through this. It’s devastating.”
This is a situation no 24-year-old is prepared to take on, but one Zach is forced to confront.
He is taking some comfort in his mother’s faith. “She was a very religious person; so she’s got good things waiting on the other side.”
A GoFundMe account was set up to help Marie’s son’s pay hospital bills and the mortgage.
Gibson said his mother had planned to move out in a couple of years and wanted him and his wife to move in to raise a family when they are ready to have children. He is working full time and she is going to school. They don’t know if they can afford to keep the house, but they’re trying to keep that dream alive.