4:50 PM PDT, September 20, 2021
To get vaccinated against COVID-19, you have to be above the age of 12, so when young Gavin Roberts celebrated his 12th birthday, all the New Jersey boy wanted as a present was to get the jab after his dad died of coronavirus complications last year, his mom explained in a moving column published on NJ.com.
“He collapsed in our house when his heart stopped,” Alice Roberts, a teacher who says many of her students this year have already tested positive, recalled of the moment her husband, Charles “Rob” Roberts, died last May. “The kids and I heard the thud.”
Officer Roberts of the Glen Ridge Police Department had been a “highly respected community police officer,” his widow said. She explained he had contracted COVID-19 while picking up extra shifts in April 2020, when 8 people from his department of 24 had to call out sick when they tested positive.
Robert, explained that he had taken a few COVID tests that either came back negative or took too long to come back at all, and despite having been resuscitated and given powerful treatments that helped him recover from the virus at the hospital, “Rob’s brain never rebounded from the lack of oxygen from when he collapsed,” she wrote.
She and her mother-in-law saw him just twice in the hospital due to restrictions by the time he was taken off the ventilator in May 2020.
“I hope my husband’s death and our story can help persuade others to do the most patriotic and selfless thing I can think of doing: Get a COVID-19 vaccine,” Roberts wrote. “That’s what my son will be doing this Sunday to celebrate his 12th birthday. It will be one he won’t forget.”