An anti-vaxxer mother whose family has said was hooked on conspiracy theories has died after admitting not getting the jab was the worst mistake of her life.
Now, the heartbroken family of 24-year-old Abby Gibbs, who passed away following an almost three-week battle in intensive care, are now urging people to get their Covid vaccine.
Abby’s mother, Lynne Gibbs and brother, Lewis Gibbs described how the mother-of-three, of Brandon, County Durham, had left a mark on everybody she met.
Ms Gibbs, who described Abby as her ‘best friend,’ said she had been known among everyone for her humour and loyalty to her loved ones.
She said: ‘She had a beautiful smile, she was just so kind – it was her smile and generosity, and humour that got everybody.
The family of 24-year-old Abby Gibbs (pictured) who said not getting the Covid jab was the ‘worst mistake of her life’, passed away following an almost three-week battle in intensive care
‘She would make us laugh to the point of crying, she was really funny – and was proud of her kids.
‘She was my best friend, I could rely on her for anything and she would stand by her family through thick and thin.’
Abby, a former apprentice hairdresser, was mum to Makayla, six, Harrison, five, and Fallyn, who turns three on Monday.
Ms Gibbs said: ‘She only ever wanted to be a mam, even from a very early age she was pushing prams with look-a-like babies in them.
‘All she ever talked about was her kids, she was so very proud of her kids.
‘She had even ordered clothes for one of her friend’s kids who has not yet been born.
‘At Christmas time, she would even go online and go on this website to help parents without much money and she would buy and send the toys to the kids.
‘It just goes to show how much she loved her kids, and everyone else’s kids.’
Abby was admitted into intensive care at the University Hospital of North Durham, where she spent 17 days battling the virus, after falling seriously ill with Covid at the start of last month. She died on September 22.
Ms Gibbs said: ‘Abby was supposed to go the same day as me to have her vaccine, but she was that hooked on conspiracy theories, she decided not to go.
‘The first day she was admitted, she said ‘mam, I wish I had gone and got the vaccine – this is the worst mistake I have ever made’.’
Only able to communicate with her children and family using Facetime, Ms Gibbs said Abby continued to provide for her family for as long as she could, even as her situation worsened.
She said: ‘She was in intensive care and she ordered online a full shop, with clothes – she was arranging stuff for the kids.’
Explaining that her children had been at the forefront of her mind, Mr Lewis added: ‘I was the last person she spoke to, and she said make sure you look after the kids – make sure they can have the best life they can.’
Abby passed away in the same hospital she had been admitted to on Wednesday, September 22.
Abby’s mother, Lynne Gibbs and brother, Lewis Gibbs described how the mother-of-three, of Brandon, County Durham, had left a mark on everybody she met
But in a huge torrent of support for her children and her family, last Sunday more than 150 people from across the community gathered in Brandon for a balloon release in memory of Abby.
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe has since been set up by close friends, which has so far seen more than £1,000 raised, in aid of helping to support Abby’s children.
Mr Gibbs said: ‘We have just been so overwhelmed and impressed by the amount of support we have had from the community.
‘This community in Brandon, it is so close-knit and it’s just so special – we have been inundated with messages, cards and flowers and we don’t know how to thank everybody enough.’
Mr Gibbs, who said all of the family had now gone for their vaccine in the wake of Abby’s death, said: ‘We just hope this will help raise awareness to bring people forward.
‘In Brandon when Abby died, the amount of people, you couldn’t get a walk-in appointment for a jab, they had none left.
‘I wouldn’t wish this on anybody, to have to sit children down and tell them that their mum has gone to heaven.
‘If Abby had been vaccinated she would still be here today.
‘She will be missed by everyone.’