Family urges public to keep guard up after 36-year-old mom dies of COVID-19

Published: Jan. 20, 2021 at 11:22 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A family from our region hopes to send a clear message to the public to stay vigilant after losing a loved one to COVID-19.

Angel McCaley, 36, passed away from complications of the virus on Saturday, according to her family. They tell WSAZ that McCaley was a diabetic and frontline worker. They say she started showing symptoms of COVID-19 after receiving her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I kept telling her, ‘you probably had it before you got the vaccine and didn’t know it’ and everyday she would have a different symptom,” said Kimberly Scott, McCaley’s mom.

McCaley worked at a long-term care facility as a certified nurse assistant, facing the pandemic head-on since the very beginning.

“Everyday she would call me and tell me they had another case and I would tell her to take a vacation and just stay home for a couple of days so she won’t catch it,” Scott told WSAZ, “and she said ‘no, I’m not leaving my clients for someone else to take care of.’ ”

After showing symptoms, McCaley went to get checked out. Her mom said while she was at the doctor’s office she passed out and was taken to the hospital. That’s where doctors found she was not only COVID-19 positive, but also was diagnosed with pneumonia. A few days later, she suffered a stroke and passed away.

“She’s going to be with us in spirit, of course, but there’s just a lot, we all lost out in a lot of this,” said Nicole Breckenridge, McCaley’s cousin. “When we think of a person, you know, we don’t think of someone like Angel to pass away at 36 years old.”

McCaley left behind many family members including her two daughters, Halo and Kamani, who are just 7 and 17 years old.

“Kamani got 17 years of life with her and Halo got a good seven years, but they’re going to miss that growing up. (Kamani) is getting ready to graduate this year, so her mom isn’t going to be able to be there to witness that,” Breckenridge said. “We never imagined living without (Angel).”

McCaley’s family said they want people to take the virus seriously, in hopes to spare other families from the same kind of heartbreak.

“Understand that this COVID is nothing to play with. It’s serious and you need to make sure you follow all precautions dealing with this because we lost someone we love,” Breckenridge said. “We just want the community to know this is serious and make sure they’re taking the steps, wear your mask. I see so many people in Charleston without masks on, and this is ridiculous. You’re not only protecting yourself, you’re protecting us.”

WSAZ reached out to the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department in regards to feeling symptoms after receiving the COVID vaccine:

“We’re saddened to hear of the loss of anyone due to COVID-19. That’s why vaccinations are imperative. Generally, people should wait until after they have recovered from COVID-19 before they get the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dr. Sherri Young. “Full immunity is not achieved until two weeks after the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Even after being vaccinated, everyone should continue to stay six feet away from other people, wear their mask and frequently wash their hands. "

Dr. Young also said data shows that the vaccine can safely be administered into people who have previously had COVID-19. However, if a person currently has COVID-19 and is showing symptoms, they recommend waiting until the person has fully recovered. They said this recommendation applies to any vaccine, including both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The family says there will be a public viewing from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday for Angel. They encourage all friends to stop by.

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