8:57 AM PDT, August 6, 2021
A Louisiana Congresswoman is urging residents in her state to get the COVID-19 vaccination after she lost her husband to the virus two weeks before the vaccine was available, according to a published report.
During a heartbreaking interview, Rep. Julia Letlow told CBS This Morning that her husband, Congressman-elect Luke Letlow, had no pre-existing medical conditions when he came down with COVID-19 in December. As he stayed in another area of their home away from her and their two small children hoping to recover, his health began to decline significantly.
By the eighth day, and only days before Christmas, Julia said her husband told her it was time to go to the hospital. Julia said her husband cried as they drove to the hospital “because he was upset about missing Christmas with his kids.” She said it was their daughter’s first Christmas.
Julia said as her husband’s condition grew more dire, he made calls from his hospital bed to say goodbye to people. He told them “he was at peace.” Then, she said, “it all happened very quickly.”
“Where he was very aware and cognizant and speaking to people and then kind of crossed over a threshold, where I started to see the color drain. And that’s when it hit me, that he might not come home,” she said.
Once he was put on a ventilator she said family gathered at his bedside and recited a special prayer. That prayer, she said, were her last words to him. “And that’s when I left him, and I kissed him goodbye,” she said.
Luke died on Dec. 29, Axios reported.
Describing those final hours, she told CBS News, she “would’ve given anything… given everything for that shot to have been available.”
On March 20, Julia won a special election to replace her late husband. Now she is sharing her story with others, specifically in her district of north and central Louisiana, in the hope that people will get vaccinated, according to Axios.
Julia said her “prayer is that not one more person has to lose their life to this virus.”
“We have the answer,” she continued. “Let’s use it.”
As of Friday, the Louisiana Department of Health reported 5,468 new cases and 33 new deaths. Those that are not fully vaccinated account for 90% of the cases between July 22 to July 28, 84% of deaths during that time period and 91% of current COVID-19 hospitalizations.