Mississippi mom tells others to get vaccinated after son loses battle with COVID

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HOLLY SPRINGS, Miss. — Imagine being a parent having to bury a child after they’ve lost their battle with COVID-19. One Holly Springs, Mississippi mother is living with that pain every day after her son died this month.

She has a message for others: Get vaccinated and mask up.

“Right today it still doesn’t seem real to me, because he was so young,” Kimberly Duncan said.

But reality for Duncan these days is a life without her 22-year-old son, Devante Franklin.

“I never thought I would have to bury one of my children before me,” she said.

She knows first-hand the agony of how COVID-19 can destroy families and how it took the life of DeVante, a young man with a big smile and who was the heart of her family.

“I hate it really bad, my baby. He was a loving child and he never bothered anybody. COVID just had to take him all the way,” she said.

COVID’s grip is a pain she doesn’t want other parents to experience.

Devonte’s battle with COVID is like so many others. He was never vaccinated.

“We were all in this household talking about going to get vaccinated, but he had caught it before he was able to get vaccinated, and I caught it behind him and my sister,” Duncan said.

For three weeks, DeVante was at Baptist Hospital in Memphis fighting COVID on a ventilator, pneumonia, and kidney failure, all while his mom had to watch from a distance.

“I got a chance to sit in the hospital with my baby,” Duncan said. “Well not in the room with him, but I got a chance to look at him through the window and sat in there for two to three hours before they took him to the morgue.”

She admits she asked God, why?

“I’m not going to say sometimes you have to question the Lord, but when he did this to me I had to question him because I just couldn’t understand,” she said.

Now one mother understands the importance of others getting vaccinated in hopes that no other parent will have to endure the pain of losing a child to COVID-19.

Duncan says as soon as she and other family members fully recover from COVID, they plan on getting vaccinated in the upcoming weeks.

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