These days, Christy Carpenter finds strength in her family and faith. But on some days, one question keeps ringing in her head: “Why?”
After weeks of battling through oxygen treatments, her 28-year-old son died in the hospital two months after being diagnosed with covid-19.
Now in Carpenter’s Alabama home, the room belonging to Curt, her “beautiful baby boy” and firstborn, remains empty — a painful reminder of a life that could have been saved if the family had decided to get vaccinated, she said.
“It took watching my son die and me suffering the effects of covid for us to realize we need the vaccine,” the mother said. “We did not get vaccinated when we had the opportunity and regret that so much now.”
Curt Carpenter was a young and otherwise healthy man. While at home, his mother said, he would spoil her with the “best hugs” and a daily dosage of kindness. Curt was autistic, but Christy Carpenter said he “lived life to the fullest” and had a passion for all things Pokémon, trains, video games and frogs.
His last uttered phrase is still etched in Christy Carpenter’s mind: “This is not a hoax, this is real,” Curt said, according to his mother.
His mother said Curt Carpenter at first believed that the coronavirus was a hoax. The whole family was hesitant to get vaccinated when the shots became available.
“It took years to create other vaccines, and the coronavirus vaccine was created very quickly,” Christy Carpenter said. “That made us very nervous.”