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B.C. man urges public to get vaccinated after losing mother to virus

Kim Harris was rushed to hospital on Aug. 11.

A Kelowna man is pleading with the public to get vaccinated after his mother, 54, died after contracting COVID-19.

Aurey Harris says his mother, Kim Harris, was rushed to Kelowna General Hospital on Aug. 11 after testing positive for the virus and developing pneumonia.

The next day, she passed away.

"They said that if she was put onto a ventilator she would have maybe a 50 per cent chance of living, but as things got worse, it was barely even a chance that it would make any difference," Harris says.

He adds his mother had underlying health conditions that he believes were a factor in the severity of the illness.

"She had asthma her entire life, that with some other health side effects — just poor overall health. There were a lot of strikes against her, for her lungs, so when COVID came and evolved into pneumonia, she was taken down pretty severely."

Harris says his mother was not vaccinated and lived in a home with nine other family members, who were not all fully vaccinated.

The 25-year-old tells Castanet two members from his mom's home were COVID positive before she contracted the virus. He says the home had separate suites, and that his mother lived on her own.

"Due to her mobility being kind of limited and her working at home and ordering all of her things, she was very isolated, and getting vaccinated wasn't a rush for her," says Harris, who is double vaccinated and hopes his mother's story will inspire others to get the shot.

Being vaccinated dramatically reduces the likelihood of catching COVID-19, and in the event of a breakthrough case, a vaccinated person is 25 times less likely to be hospitalized.

The other two people who tested positive are expected to recover.

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