Unvaccinated Couple Dies From COVID 2 Weeks Apart, Leaving 5 Kids Orphaned

An unvaccinated couple in Stafford County, Virginia, reportedly died from COVID-19 just two weeks apart, leaving behind five children and one grandchild.

Married for 17 years, Kevin and Misty Mitchem became infected with the virus last month, according to The Free Lance-Star.

Misty, 46, died from illness on September 23. Kevin, 48, was hospitalized that day and later succumbed to the virus on October 8.

The couple left behind their four children: Riley, 17; Leah, 14; and twins Taylor and Aiden, 11. Kevin also has a 22-year-old daughter named Angel from a previous relationship. Angel's child will turn 2 years old next month.

"Both our families have been turned upside down," Mike Mitchem, Kevin's brother, told the Free Lance-Star. "The kids are the main thing, his oldest daughter just had a son and I'm sure she wanted him to get close with his grandfather and that's not gonna happen now."

Both Misty and Kevin refused to be vaccinated, despite several pleas from their family members and friends to protect themselves from the virus. Though Kevin reportedly developed symptoms of COVID-19 first in September, Misty, who is diabetic, became severely ill much more quickly.

On September 22, Misty was placed on a ventilator, with her kidneys only functioning at 50 percent, according to the Free Lance-Star. Just one day later, she was dead.

"Within five hours, she was gone," Mike Mitchem told the newspaper, adding that it was just days between her first symptom and her death. "It really came out of nowhere."

Kevin, who became more severely ill on the 23rd, appeared to be improving in health at times. But two weeks after his hospitalization, the virus had done irreparable damage to his lungs. In his final days, he pleaded with hospital staff to give him the vaccine, but nurses had to tell him it was too late.

According to Misty's obituary, she had been trained as a medical transcriptionist, and was described as a devoted mother and "one of the most caring and loving most people ever met." Kevin worked in construction, and family members said he had no underlying health conditions prior to his infection.

"He never smoked, never drank, didn't do drugs, didn't have diabetes, wasn't overweight, was a heavy equipment operator, did a lot of highway work," Mike Mitchem told the outlet. "He worked every day. He was always working, always outside, always doing something. Very active."

The couple's death has caused a wave of both grief and frustration across their families. Mike Mitchem told People magazine last week that he hopes their story can now serve as a message for people to get vaccinated.

"The main emphasis we would like to push is 'get vaccinated,'" Mike told the outlet. "If not for you, then for your loved ones."

"If just one person gets their life saved from vaccinations, then we did our part," he added.

A GoFundMe has since been organized to help provide for the children, who have been relocated to live with family in South Carolina. As of Tuesday, the fundraiser has raised over $22,000.

COVID-19 death vaccinated couple
An unvaccinated couple in Virginia died from COVID just two weeks behind, leaving behind five orphaned children and one grandchild. Here, a deceased COVID-19 patient is transferred by medical personnel at Brooklyn Hospital Center on April 09, 2020. ANGELA WEISS/Getty Images