'Get vaccinated': Apex mom shares heartbreak of unexpectedly losing spouse to COVID-19 complications

APEX, N.C. (WTVD) -- An Apex mom is desperately pleading for everyone to get vaccinated.

The Delta variant sent Cat Lewis and her daughter to the hospital in mid-August.

Within days, her husband, Howard, was sick.

Two days later he died after complications from COVID-19.

Both Cat and Howard were against getting vaccinated.

"One minute he's sitting next to me on the couch and the next minute, I'm planning his funeral," she said.

READ MORE: FDA backs Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine boosters for people 65 and older, others at-risk

ABC11 first met Cat and Howard on their front porch earlier this year as they were preparing to send their son back for in-person learning at Apex Friendship High School.

Cat said she believes they contracted the virus while on a trip to Florida during the summer.
"It was the sickest I've ever been in my life," said Cat, who was thankful to have survived.

Her daughter had only mild symptoms.

"Howard was everything," Cat said. "He was big and loud. He was larger than life and everybody loved him."

READ MORE: Where can you get a COVID-19 vaccine in NC? Tracking availability and progress

He was just 59 years old. Cat said he was somewhat overweight but otherwise healthy.

"I don't know that the vaccine would've saved his life and I can't go there mentally," she said. "But it would've given him a fighting chance and that's why I want everyone to go get vaccinated."

Cat said she hopes her message isn't taken as political. She said she wants people to know you can lose a loved one at any moment.
Copyright © 2021 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.