NC hospitals filled with at least 3,500 COVID-19 patients as loved ones tell stories of heartbreaking loss

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Hospitals across the state are filled with at least 3,509 COVID-19 patients, according to data from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

One of those patients is Randy Johns’ relative. Johns describes him as a healthy, active 52-year-old who wouldn’t get the vaccine or wear a mask.

“He’s in ICU in Winston-Salem at Forsyth and he’s probably not gonna make through the day,” Johns said of his relative’s condition. “He’s a runner, but he’s anti-mask, anti-vaccination.”

Johns added, “To me, it’s so upsetting. I just can’t, I can’t wrap my head around it… he’s leaving two boys behind and his wife.”

It’s a grim reality many families are facing.

According to state health officials, 93 people died from COVID-19 this past weekend.

Shaquirah Jacques just lost her godmother to the virus.

“My godmother just recently passed last Friday from COVID,” Jacques said of how the pandemic has hit close to home. “She was in the hospital for 15 days on a ventilator. They took her off and she didn’t make it.”

While people who are vaccinated can still catch COVID-19, and in some cases end up in the hospital, state officials say unvaccinated people are 15.5 times more like to die from it.

“I have one story when there’s millions of others who have stories,” Jacques said of losing a loved one to COVID. “You can’t let that stop you from doing, what you need to do or from living life, but you can use that as ammunition to be more careful.”

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