An anti-vaxxer mum and her daughter have died from Covid just days apart in the same hospital after refusing to have the vaccine jab.

Sammie-Jo Forde, 32, died last Saturday, leaving behind four children.

Only 11 days earlier her mum Heather Maddern, 55, passed away in the same ward.

Both women were care workers looking after the elderly, Ms Maddern had shared a series of ant-vaxx conspiracy posts on social media in the weeks before she fell ill and was admitted to in Ulster Hospital near Belfast.

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Miss Forde's father Kevin McAllister said: “My daughter was 32 with four kids. To make matters worse was it's her oldest son's birthday today. He will be 13 today.

“So these people who are not taking their Covid-19 injection, they are not thinking of the other people they're leaving behind.”

Sammie-Jo Forde was a care worker with elderly people and a mum of four
Sammie-Jo Forde was a care worker with elderly people and a mum of four

Miss Forde, who had no underlying health conditions, texted her father while she was being treated to tell him: 'Dad, Mummy's passed away.'

Mr McAllister said he did not understand why neither his daughter or her mother, who is his ex-partner, decided not to have the jab.

In an emotional interview, Mr McAllister told the BBC's Stephen Nolan: “I've had the worst weekend of my life last weekend.

“My daughter passed away on Saturday, Covid-19. Her mummy got buried yesterday, she had Covid-19, and both of them never took the Covid-19 injections.

“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.

“She's getting buried next Monday - and I can't give her a kiss cheerio. To happen to your own family, I wouldn't wish it on nobody, what I've gone through.

Care worker Heather Maddern died from Covid a few days before her daughter Sammie-Jo
Care worker Heather Maddern died from Covid a few days before her daughter Sammie-Jo
Sammie-jo Forde who died from Covid along with her mum. Despite being care workers both refused to have the vaccine
Sammie-Jo Forde who died from Covid along with her mum. Despite being care workers both refused to have the vaccine

“I've come back to work today to get my mind off it, but next Monday, I have to bury my first born, my best friend, my daughter, and I just never can get out of my mind why she didn't take it. It will haunt me for the rest of my life.

Mr McAllister praised the communuty for raising up to £10,000 to help Sammie's four children. But he said conspoiracy theories behind coronavirus and vaccines left him in despair.

He said: "I just wish these people sitting out there... injections, corruption... that rubbish on Facebook. If she had took it, she would have been alive today, her and her mummy.

“I wouldn't wish anybody what I'm going through. The rest of my life, it will haunt me. I just wish people out there would just sometimes listen to the experts, because that's what they are.

A Covid vaccine being administered

Heather Maddern's Facebook included a a series of posts challenging the scientific approach to Covid along with vaccinations. and she showed support for nurses threatened with action for not taking the jab.

One recent post she said she 'supported 100%", contained the tragic lines:

"I understand that there is a minuscule possibility I could die, but I will most likely end up feeling like crap for a few days.

"I understand I could possibly pass it to someone else, if I'm not careful, but I can pass any virus onto someone else.

"I'm struggling to see where or how this ends.

"We either get busy living or we get busy dying."

“I'm devastated," added Mr McAllister. "But I don't want nobody to go through what that man (Sammie's partner) has to go through, bringing up his four kids on his own. It's so sad, they'd got the opportunity to take it.

“Loads of people in Northern Ireland and loads of people are sitting out there and not taking it. They don't realise what they're leaving behind. We have to pick up the pieces, so I just take every day as it comes now - nothing bothers me any more.

"I just wish to God she took it, it's on my mind every night, thinking why didn't you take it, why didn't you take it?

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“I can't bring back the past, it's in the past, but I just wish people out there could just take it because don't go through what I'm going through.

“She sent me a few text messages before she died and I'll keep them.

“And I just wish that people who don't want to take it realise what they're leaving behind, as it will kill them. She's a 32-year-old healthy girl and took a heart failure at the end because she just couldn't cope.'

Full BBC interview with Sammie's dad

As care workers Miss Forde and Ms Maddern would have been among the first groups to have been offered the jab last year.

The Government has a requirement for all care home staff in England to have had their first vaccine by November 11.

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