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Bryan woman shares story of losing husband to COVID in hopes others will get vaccinated

“It was very hard because we had been through so much together as a couple. We were just best friends. I lost my best friend.”
Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 10:25 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Currently, in Texas, only 52% of residents are fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

Some of the unvaccinated are still on the fence about getting the shot for one reason or another and that’s why a local woman is sharing her story and the loss of her husband and mother-in-law to the virus.

She’s hoping her story will inspire others.

Marilyn Mitchell has seven children and 11 grandchildren.

She’s also a longtime school bus driver and dispatcher for Bryan ISD.

She says being around children brings her joy. The other joy in her life was her husband of more than 40 years: Willie Mitchell.

“What I would say, he’s the best thing that ever happened to me,” said Marilyn.

In 2019, Mr. Mitchell had a kidney transplant. With a compromised immune system, Marilyn knew getting vaccinated would be important.

The very next day - right after Marilyn was vaccinated - her husband was diagnosed with COVID and hospitalized for nearly three weeks. Her only contact with him was on the phone and on Facebook.

“Then it got to the point where they called and said Mrs. Mitchell, we have to incubate him. So from there, it was all Facetime. No personal time,” she said.

Willie Mitchell passed away on April 2.

Less than a month after Willie passed away, his mother also died from COVID. Marilyn says this is why she advocates for vaccinations.

“It was very hard because we had been through so much together as a couple. We were just best friends. I lost my best friend,” said Marilyn.

Do you know someone who hasn’t gotten the COVID-19 vaccine? Maybe you want to talk to them about it, but you’re not sure what to say. There’s still time—and Baylor Scott and White Health has the resources to help you start that conversation. Click here to learn more.

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