Houston-area woman gets COVID-19 vaccine in honor of loved ones who died from it

Many people admit to being hesitant to get a coronavirus vaccine, and a local woman agrees she used to feel the same way. That is, until she lost a precious loved one to the virus.

Brigid Roberson is grieving over the loss her grandfather, who recently died from COVID-19 related complications.

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"His name was James Avery. We call him the legend James Avery, and he was just full of life. He enjoyed getting out and making a name for himself, doing business. He had his own businesses," reminisces Bridgid.

Brigid says he instilled morals and values into her life, and as she remembers her grandfather, she’s saddened that she didn’t get to see him much the past year because of the pandemic.

She tells us he had to be moved into a nursing home, where he contracted coronavirus. When he was rushed to the emergency room, his family had little hope.

"It was very late in the game for him to get a vaccine, it wasn't quite there yet. It was almost there, but not quite there yet," states Brigid.

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She says she would do anything if her legendary grandfather had gotten the opportunity to get a vaccine to fight COVID-19, like she did.

"When I saw everyone in line to get the first shot, I felt the hope, but I also felt a lot of tears and emotion and hurt because I wish it would have been available for my grandfather. I wish it would have been available for my cousins who had passed on because of COVID. Knowing that there was hope and seeing people being able to get those opportunities, because not a lot of times do you have the opportunity that you think you should have, and so I was just glad to see that finally, help was on the way and so that made me feel just great," smiles Brigid.

Brigid is proud to be part of history, as one of the first to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

"The day that the vaccine came, I was so excited for all of us at Memorial Hermann, and for everybody in the world who are going to get, get the opportunity to get the vaccine. This was a groundbreaking, changing moment in the world and just to be a part of it, to take part of it was a feeling of just greatness and that we were getting to a start, we were going to start something new and we had a chance to help the community, and make sure that everybody was going to be okay. It gave us that hope that yes, everything's going to be all right," says Brigid.

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She says, before losing her grandfather, she was hesitant about eventually taking a novel vaccine, but losing him changed everything and made her excited about getting the shot.

"If I've not done anything else in my life, I know that I made an impact on all the people who see my story, and are now brave enough to go out and get that shot. So that meant so much to me, because that's all I want to do is make sure that we don't lose people senselessly when we have an opportunity to make a difference," says Brigid.\

Brigid gets her second dose this week. She says she's relieved she did not have any side effects from the first round and knows her grandfather would be proud that she's trying to save others through her message.

Click here for Memorial Hermann's answers to common questions about the vaccine.