Indianapolis nurse receives vaccine 6 months after mother dies of COVID-19

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INDIANAPOLIS — Many healthcare workers are feeling hopeful as the first COVID-19 vaccines become available. To them, this seems like the beginning of the end of this pandemic.

An Indianapolis nurse feels the same way. This moment was also bittersweet for her.

Belinda Wallbank’s mom died of COVID-19 in June. She was a resident at a longterm care facility, and that is where Wallbank believes her mom contracted the virus.

“She got sick and had trouble breathing and went to the hospital and was in the hospital for a few days and on a ventilator,” said Wallbank. “She was just so weak from the virus, and it was horrible.”

A little more than six months after her death, Wallbank received her first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Her mom would have also been one of the first to get vaccinated since she was a resident of a longterm care facility.

“I think you almost have a little guilt on that, you know” she explained.

Wallbank said her mom loved people, and she was a very generous woman.

After a dark year, this vaccine still brings some light and hope around the holidays. Wallbank feels like Christmas came early.

“I could hardly contain my excitement because this is an opportunity for us,” Wallbank said.

This will be the first Christmas without her mom. With a shot in the arm, she’s now trying to fill that void with purpose.

“It is a chance that maybe someone else’s mom won’t pass,” she said. “That we can keep each other safe.

“I think my mom would just want to say, ‘Just hang in there. Do those things to help protect each other, and love those around you.'”

Next week, Wallbank will work at the clinic to help administer vaccines. She is so proud to be able to help her community beat this pandemic.

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