Curt Carpenter lost his life to Covid-19 after a 51-day battle with the virus. The 28-year-old Alabama man was certain the coronavirus was a hoax and refused to get the vaccine. Before he died, he told his family that he was wrong. Now his mother is using her platform to talk about Covid-19. She is desperately urging people to get vaccinated.
Curt Carpenter died on May 2 after two months at Grandview Medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama. The man, who had autism, was adamant that the Covid-19 vaccine was dangerous. He claimed the pandemic was ridiculous.
“Curt thought Covid-19 was a hoax and did not take it seriously,” His mother, Christy Carpenter, explained. “Until he could not breathe without the oxygen. The same day he was put on the ventilator, he told us, ‘This is not a hoax, this is real.’”
Christy Carpenter continued. She said she knows “if Curt had survived, he would have made sure everyone knew how serious this disease is, and how important the vaccine is.” The mourning mother demeaned the seriousness of the virus throughout the pandemic but is becoming an activist.
“It took watching my son die and me suffering the effects of Covid-19 for us to realize we need the vaccine,” Christy told The Washington Post. “We did not get vaccinated when we had the opportunity and regret that so much now.”
She explained that her skepticism was born out of genuine concern for her family. “It took years to create other vaccines, and the coronavirus vaccine was created very quickly,” Christy Carpenter explained. “That made us very nervous.”
When Curt Carpenter was diagnosed with Covid-19 things went downhill fast. Though he was overweight he had no pre-existing health conditions that would put him at a higher risk for a serious case. Still Carpenter suffered tremendously and was forced to use a ventilator to survive. His 51-day battle ended two months later.
“It’s very difficult, especially when it’s a young person who had no health issues,” Christy Carpenter admitted. “It’s what Covid-19 does to the body. It’s a horrible, horrible, horrible illness.” She added that “I know [Curt] would be very passionate about people getting the vaccine,” and is using her platform to spread awareness.
“If we can encourage people to get the vaccine, and if we can save just one more life, it’s all worth it,” she told reporters. “If Curt were here today, he would be doing that. We feel we need to honor his memory and do the same.”
Curt Carpenter was a Pokemon fanatic who loved trains, video games, and frogs. He was a “social butterfly who knew no stranger,” according to his family. The 28-year-old, who went to Pell City High School, often posted images from his favorite fandoms on his Facebook page.
Curt Carpenter’s sister, Cayla Carpenter, posted an update in early June. “It’s a movie night with mom,” Cayla Carpenter wrote on Facebook. “Really missing your silly facts and random comments about every scene in every movie.”
Since his death in May, both his mother and his sister have shared his story. They have made it their mission to continue Carpenter’s legacy and get people vaccinated.
The Covid-19 pandemic has seen a resurgence in recent months. Rochelle Walensky, the director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that the surge in the United States is due to the high population of unvaccinated individuals.
“This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Walensky said in a statement when numbers started to rise again. Statistics released by the CDC show that 99.5 percent of Covid-19 deaths in the country are among unvaccinated citizens.
Governor Kay Ivey recently said people who refuse COVID-19 vaccines “are choosing a horrible lifestyle of self-inflicted pain.” The Alabama governor continued, saying “Folks are supposed to have common sense. But it’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down.”