An unvaccinated mother and her 32-year-old daughter from County Down both died from the coronavirus within days of each other in the same ward of a Northern Ireland hospital.
Sammie-Jo Forde died at the Ulster Hospital on Saturday, Sept. 11 after choosing not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Her mother Heather Maddern died at the same hospital on August 31.
Forde has been described as a "devoted mum" to her four children Max, Ruby, Milo, and Daisy, while her father Kevin McAllister said that he had been "devastated" by the two deaths.
"This has just shattered my world," McAllister told the Nolan Show on BBC Radio Ulster.
"I’ve had the worst weekend of my life, my daughter passed away on Saturday from Covid-19. Her mummy got buried yesterday, she had Covid-19."
McAllister said that neither Forde nor her mother had taken the COVID-19 vaccine and encouraged others to protect themselves and their loved ones.
"Both of them never took the Covid injections…these people who are not taking the Covid-19 injection, they’re not thinking of the other people they’re leaving behind," McAllister said.
"I’ve lost my daughter, my best friend, all I have are memories of her, motorbike racing, fishing, driving diggers, that’s all the memories I have."
He said that his daughter's decision not to get the vaccine will "haunt" him for the rest of his life and said that he would not be able to kiss her goodbye at her funeral on Monday, Sept. 20.
McAllister said that his eldest daughter worked as a care worker and had no underlying conditions and said that his ex-partner Heather Maddern also worked as a care worker.
"They lived together, they worked together, they died together," he said.