Shannon Speagle, the sister of unvaccinated 90 Day Fiance star Jason Hitch who died of COVID-19 complications at age 45, hopes the death of her brother will compel people to get jabbed against coronavirus.
Speaking with TMZ, Speagle says she has been left devastated by the passing of her brother, but she hopes his story can serve as a cautionary tale for those weary of getting the shot.
Speagle says the tragedy should serve as just another reminder of how important it is to get vaccinated and take precautions against the virus, no matter how healthy one thinks they are.
Speagle told the outlet she used to argue with her brother about getting jabbed against COVID, as her brother was against the coronavirus vaccine. She said he would send her misinformation about the jab not being effective.
Jason Hitch, pictured, passed away at age 45 from COVID-19 and now his sister hopes his story can serve as a cautionary tale for those weary of getting the jab
As a healthy 45-year-old, Speagle says her brother believed he would be able to overcome COVID if he were to contract it.
Recalling their last conversation together, Speagle says she pushed her brother to get jabbed as he had been planning on visiting her and her children.
However, he ended up refusing to get vaccinated and never made the visit, Speagle says.
Speagle says she held off from calling her brother once he did contract COVID as she did not want to be perceived as rubbing his diagnosis in his face.
Once Jason was hospitalized, the severity of his condition dawned on her and she flew off to be with him.
Speagle says the tragedy should serve as just another reminder of how important it is to get vaccinated and take precautions against the virus, no matter how healthy one thinks they are
Once she arrived, however, he was sedated and on a ventilator. She told the outlet it was the worst thing she had ever seen.
Speagle was by his bedside when he died following complications of the virus last week.
She told the outlet it is the worst ‘I told you so’ possible and does not want anyone else to go through what she and her family are currently experiencing.
Hitch died in a Florida ICU last week with his family by his bedside after contracting the virus. It is unknown how long he spent in the ICU.
His sister Shannon told TMZ that the reality TV star’s family was able to be present at his bedside and held his hand when he passed away.
Shannon also told the outlet that Jason didn’t have any preexisting conditions and was not vaccinated. Although she suspects he died of COVID-19 complications, she didn’t rule out other factors.
‘He will be missed by his family and many friends and fans whom he adored,’ Shannon told US Weekly.
Jason was seen on the show’s second season in 2014 amid his marriage to Cássia Tavares (pictured)
TLC – the network that hosts 90 Day Fiancé – said in a statement to People: ‘We are saddened to hear about the passing of Jason Hitch and send our sincere condolences to his family and friends at this time.’
Jason was seen on the show’s second season in 2014 amid his marriage to Brazil native Cássia Tavares.
The couple subsequently separated in 2017 and got divorced the following year.
Tavares reacted to the death in a statement posted to her Instagram Stories.
‘It’s always sad when someone you spent part of your life with stops breathing,’ Cassia wrote, according to Life & Style magazine. ‘I guess one could never be prepared for that. I wasn’t today.
‘When I started receiving messages, I thought it was a joke. I’m shocked. My condolences to his family and friends. Rest In Peace, Jason.’
Costar Danielle Mullins Jbali did post a throwback photo of the group, expressing her grief over Hitch’s passing.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, the couple initially crossed paths on Facebook in March of 2012 when Tavares was dating a friend of his. After that relationship had concluded, Hitch and Tavares pursued a romance.
Hitch told the paper that they initially communicated ‘a couple times a week’ via emails and text messages.
Tavares said that long-distance dating was challenging in terms of trust, adding, ‘If you don’t talk, what do you have?’
The couple met for the first time in person at an airport in Curitiba, Brazil, according to the paper. Hitch told the paper that he ‘hadn’t showered for a day or so’ after extensive traveling, and thought to himself, ‘Should I give her one of those 19 Kids and Counting side hugs?’
Former castmate Danielle Mullins Jbali posted a throwback photo of the group as she expressed her grief over Hitch’s passing
The couple separated in 2017 and filed divorce papers the following year
Tavares told the Tampa Bay Times in 2014 of their romance: ‘Before being a couple, we were best friends. It’s hard to find this kind of connection with someone.’
The pair later divorce and he told Radar in February of 2019 that his communications with Tavares were ‘cordial and civil’ in the wake of their split.
He said that a large factor in their split was due to a ‘lack of communication,’ and that he’d hoped to ‘get married in the future.’
‘A successful relationship is communication, physical attraction and doing whatever it takes,’ he told Radar in 2019. ‘Right now it’s time to go in different directions. I think we’ll remain friends. She knows I have her best interests at heart.’
Hitch also said at the time that he still ‘believes in love.’
‘I’m a Hollywood ending type of guy. I’m going to work on my body, continue to read, continue to make money, I’ll figure it out!’
He told the outlet that Tavares ‘did not come here just to become an American citizen,’ as ‘she had a good life in Brazil’ and ‘was about to finish college.’
He added: ‘She had a good life in Brazil. She was about to finish college. She didn’t have to marry me.’
Hitch in January of 2017 was arrested in connection with domestic battery in an incident with Tavares.
Tavares told the Tampa Bay Times in 2014 of their romance, ‘Before being a couple, we were best friends. It’s hard to find this kind of connection with someone.’ Hitch said in February of 2019 that his communications with Tavares were ‘cordial and civil’ in the wake of their split and blamed ‘lack of communication’ on
Hitch (pictured with Tavares on the show) in January of 2017 was arrested in connection with domestic battery in an incident with Tavares
She came to Florida from Brazil for the show and he defended her, saying she didn’t marry him for citizenship
According to a police report reviewed by Radar, authorities said the two were ‘arguing over marital issues while lying in bed’ when ‘Jason then grabbed Tavares by her left arm, leaving a mark and then pushed [her] off of the bed causing her to fall to the floor.’
‘Jason then began screaming at Tavares to the point Tavares was in fear and dialed 911 for law enforcement.’
The case was eventually dropped.
Despite there divorce, Hitch was still proud of his time on the show with his ex-wife and featured it prominently on his LinkedIn page, along side his military history.
Hitch, who was in the military leading up to his death, was a first lieutenant in the Army reserves, according to the outlet.
Shannon described her brother as a ‘true and honest shooter, a great officer and leader to his men.’