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'I think it would’ve made him proud': Woman to get vaccine on anniversary of father’s COVID-19 death

"Never in a million years did we think it would affect us so closely."

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A South Carolina woman is set to get her COVID-19 vaccine Monday, but the day has an even bigger meaning to her.

One year ago on Monday, her father died from COVID-19. Although it's a bittersweet day, she says getting her vaccine on the anniversary of his death was the perfect way to honor him.

"Never in a million years did we think it would affect us so closely," said Alexis Sprogis, who lives in Taylors.

Sprogis never expected the pandemic to hit so close so soon.

"Statistically, someone we know is going to get it," she said. "Statistically, someone we know is probably going to pass away from it."

Sprogis' father was recovering from shoulder surgery in March 2020. She was taking care of him when she couldn’t get ahold of him one day.

She sent her husband around the corner to check on her father and says he wasn’t doing well. Sprogis says her father couldn’t remember her husband’s name, thinking he may have had a stroke.

She says they called EMS and rushed him to the hospital, where doctors found fluid in his lungs.

"They ran a COVID test, just as protocol," Sprogis said. "We did not expect it to come back positive, so when they called on Friday to tell us it was positive, we were just floored."

In just a matter of days, her father died.

"He just deteriorated so rapidly, and they put him on a ventilator and his kidney function started to deteriorate, and he passed away on Sunday," she said.

One year later, the anniversary of her father’s death will take on a whole new meaning. When Sprogis became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, she scrambled to find any appointment she could.

"He said March 29, and I was like, okay great," she said. "Then later that day, I was putting it in my phone and I was like, 'Oh my gosh, that's the one-year anniversary of dad's death.' How crazy. One year later after losing him."

Sprogis' husband coincidentally found her an appointment on the anniversary of her father's death. For the first time in a year, her tune is starting to change.

"For me personally, just represents a lot of hope for the future, because there have been times over the last year where I was thinking we’re never going to get back to a baseline normal," she said.

Sprogis knows this would have made her father proud. She says he would've been so excited to watch the progress of science over the last year after spending his life helping others.

"Maybe even after his death, he's still helping people," she said. "I think it would’ve made him proud."

Sprogis says getting her vaccine on Monday will bring things full circle. To her, it's a sign of hope after a tough year.