Young Quebecer who died of COVID-19 pleaded with people to get vaccinated
MONTREAL -- Kevin Smith Chartree was 27 years old when he died of COVID-19.
The father of two had received just one dose of a vaccine when he received his positive diagnosis on Sept. 1.
He was hospitalized days later and died last Friday.
On his death bed, his family and friends say he pleaded with them to go get vaccinated.
In a message posted to Facebook, not available for public viewing, he wrote: "I didn't believe in COVID-19. I was laughing. This morning, my heart was pumping at 234 beats per minute -- my heart gave out twice. Thanks to my dad for calling the emergency room as I wouldn't have done it myself."
According to his sister, Korine Smith, the young man was quickly put in an induced coma at Saint-Jérôme Hospital.
His oxygen levels had degraded to 50 per cent so doctors made the decision to put him on life support.
Smith says by the time her brother had been in hospital, in critical condition for two weeks, the family knew he was perhaps too tired to fight.
"Today, you're giving 100 per cent and still you can't get the upper hand," she wrote on Facebook. "My brother, know that I love you. If it ever comes to it, know that you can leave with your head held high."
A few days later, on Sept. 24, the young father passed away.
"I will remember this day for the rest of my life," said Smith. "I don't have the right words to explain the pain I'm in right now."
After his death, an outpouring of support and grief flooded social media, with friends and family remembering his charming spirit and love of fun.
The 27-year-old wasn't an anti-vaxxer, they say, he simply had doubts about the vaccine and wanted to wait before getting his shot.
He planned to get his second dose soon so he could travel.
Smith Chartree's funeral is planned for Oct. 3 starting at 12 p.m. at the Trudel Funeral Home (400 Place du Curé-Labelle, Saint-Jérôme).
The ceremony, set at 6 p.m., will allow a maximum of 50 people to abide by public health restrictions, Smith noted.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ) notes 20 to 29-year-olds have accounted for 16.2 per cent of COVID-19 cases, that is 2.7 per cent of hospitalizations and 0.1 per cent of deaths -- nine people.