Florida vaccine advocate loses 6 unvaccinated family members to COVID-19 in 3 weeks


BELLE GLADE, Fla. (WPTV) – For the past three weeks, Lisa Wilson has entered and exited the Butts Memorial Chapel funeral home in Belle Glade.

Wilson, an assistant to Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, spoke earlier this week about her experience as she sat inside the funeral home with her husband and brother, where they were planning another memorial service.

“It started with my uncle Tyrone,” she said.

Wilson said his family’s nightmare began three weeks ago when his 48-year-old uncle Tyrone Moreland was taken to hospital. He died soon after from COVID-19.

“Then my grandmother, she was hospitalized too,” Wilson said.

Wilson adored and admired his grandmother.

“She was the rock of the family,” she said. “I was with her from birth. Since I was born I was with my grandmother, so I just bonded with her.

Her grandmother’s porch was a gathering place.

“People were just stopping to chat with her, the younger ones, the older people,” Wilson said.

But Lillie Mae Dukes Moreland, 89, died two days after the funeral of her son, Tyrone.

One of Wilson’s cousins ​​died soon after.

“It’s so unreal,” she said.

Then Wilson lost three more cousins, all to coronavirus. Not all of Wilson’s deceased relatives were vaccinated.

“You cannot mourn the death of one, because the next day or two, someone else has passed away,” she said. “So it’s been really, really, really hard to figure out and try to figure it all out.”

Wilson said she spent months trying to convince her family to get the shot, but they got scared and fueled misinformation on social media.

But now Wilson said: “My family who was dying on their deathbed, they also wanted me to let people know to get the vaccine.”

Lisa Wilson’s husband Steve Wilson is the mayor of Belle Glade. Signs promoting the vaccines are being displayed across town, and he said his family will continue to spread the message that the vaccine can save lives.

“We want to make sure we’re doing our part to make sure people have the opportunity,” said Steve Wilson. “There is no excuse for them not being able or not having the opportunity to be vaccinated.”

Lisa Wilson only wishes her own family had listened.

“I need everyone to hear this message: don’t swap places with me and my family, what we’re going through,” she said. “It’s not a good feeling.”

Copyright 2021 WPTV via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.

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