JACKSONVILLE, Fla — A Jacksonville woman spent her final days urging people on TikTok to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Alexandra Blankenbiller’s videos gained hundreds of thousands of views as she updated her followers throughout her fight.
“I did not get vaccinated. I’m not anti-vax, I was just trying to do my research. I was scared,” the 31-year-old said in a video on TikTok.
In the video, Blankenbiller struggles to breathe in her hospital bed. It would be her last post.
According to CBS News, Blankenbiller said she’d wanted to get the shot with her whole family at the same time. When they finally decided to do it, they got sick before their appointments. Blankenbiller’s biggest regret was not getting vaccinated.
“I shouldn’t have waited. If you are even 70 percent sure that you want the vaccine, go get it,” she said.
Her battle with COVID-19 took a turn for the worse. She died nine days after she posted her last video.
Alex Hadden sang with Blankenbiller in the Jax Treblemakers A capella group. Blankenbiller leaves Hadden with a lifetime of happy memories.
“She was the kind of person that always knew the right moment to make a hilarious joke, or just say the nicest thing to really pick you up,” Hadden said.
Blankenbiller spent her final days worrying about others.
“Watching her last few videos you can see just the amount of compassion she had towards others even while she was suffering,” Hadden recalled.
Hadden hopes Blankenbiller’s experience changes others’ lives for the better.
“For people who might even be the slightest bit hesitant about the vaccine and about the dangers of not getting it, please watch her videos. See for yourself. See the pain that she went through and make up your own mind,” Hadden told Action News Jax.
Hadden wants Blankenbiller’s message to live on.
The CDC warns Florida continues to be a hot spot for COVID-19.
The Florida Department of Health reports 69 percent of Floridians are fully vaccinated. That rate is 60 percent in Duval County.
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