Community SDoH Alert!

FATHER OF 8 CHILDREN WAS SET TO GET HIS 2nd VACCINE DOSE, BUT GOT INFECTED WITH THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) AND DIED

  • Alert date June 27, 2021

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    The father of eight was scheduled to get his second dose on May 3. But instead, on that day he tested positive for COVID-19.

    Gordon Ballard was born with sickle cell anemia — a disorder in which there aren’t enough healthy red blood cells to move oxygen through the body — and suffered one or two crises per year, his daughter said.

    When the pandemic began, “my dad spent every day in fear” because he felt certain he would die if he contracted COVID-19, Ballard-Hart said.

    He was also scared of the vaccine, Ballard-Hart said.

    Gordon Ballard’s doctors implored him to get it — and he received his first dose on April 5, she said.

    Gordon Ballard, 65, died on May 17, 2021, two weeks after he tested positive.

    Sandra Ballard said she and her husband “made a plan along time ago” that whenever Gordon Ballard was admitted to the hospital for sickle cell crises, “we would act like it was the last time.”

    “We would hug and kiss and say our goodbyes … in case he didn’t make it back home,” she said.

    But with COVID-19, she said he went downhill so quickly and was intubated by the time hospital staff called, that she never had that chance. He was unconscious by the time she arrived at the hospital.

    “I wasn’t there with him in the end … I wasn’t there to hold him,” she said. “I wasn’t there to really say our final goodbyes.”

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