COVID-19 patient whose induced coma prompted B.C. family's plea for vaccinations has died
A B.C. woman who was in an induced coma due to COVID-19, prompting an impassioned public plea from her family, has died.
Anna Joseph, a resident of Vancouver, was admitted to an intensive care unit after becoming ill earlier this month.
In a post on Twitter, her brother Tyrone said she died at Vancouver General Hospital, surrounded by family and medical professionals. Loved ones were also able to join her in her final moments through a video call.
"What a blessing," Tyrone posted.
It is not clear how she and her adult son, who was also in ICU briefly, contracted COVID-19, but her brother said neither had been vaccinated.
Anna's brother shared his family's story whiled she was in the coma, saying he hoped it would encourage others who've been hesitant to get the shots because of misinformation to reconsider.
Tyrone said it was a surprise to him that Anna and her son were unvaccinated at the time. He'd assumed his extended family shared the views of his immediate family, he told CTV News last week.
He blamed misinformation that has circulated online, especially on social media, for their hesitancy.
But he said there's more to it for some people. The Joseph family is Indigenous, and he said distrust in the government may be a factor for some.
Last year, a report found widespread racism against Indigenous people in B.C.'s health-care system. The damning report from an independent reviewer found a "pervasive mindset of misinformed and prejudiced beliefs about the inferiority of Indigenous peoples" in all health-care settings in B.C., among other issues.
While Tyrone understands that distrust, he wrote on Twitter Wednesday that COVID-19 has disrupted First Nation community norms, and "we must fully pursue efforts to vaccinate and prevent further loss. Our communities and next generations need to act now."
He said previously he hoped his sister's story will change some minds, and that other Indigenous families will look past any skepticism of the health-care system.