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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV.com) — A St. Louis County mother is turning her devastating loss of her daughter into a teaching moment.

Kimberle Jones is grieving over the death of her daughter, 37-year old Erica Thompson, who died from COVID-19 on the Fourth of July. Thompson had questions and about COVID so she put off getting vaccinated. In early May, she started feeling sick and she thought her asthma was acting up, but she she tested positive for COVID-19. She was admitted to SSM Saint Mary’s Hospital on May 16.

Because of her daughter’s death, Jones speaking out to urge people to get vaccinated, if not for themselves, for their loved ones.

“I really do believe had she been vaccinated she’d still be here with me today,” she said.

Thompson was the mother of three boys and her mother described her as energetic and upbeat. Jones said her daughter’s condition deteriorated quickly.

“I just watched my baby slipping away every day,” said Jones.

Thompson was eventually transferred to SSM Saint Louis University Hospital and placed on a device called ECMO, which is similar to a heart-lung machine.

After 50 days in the hospital, Thompson died.

Jones is speaking out now to encourage people to listen to their doctor and get vaccinated. She said, if you don’t do it for yourself, do it for the ones you love so they don’t have to go through the heartbreak and grief she’s going through.

“Don’t let this be your story because it can be avoided, it can be avoided,” said Jones.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with the family’s funeral expenses.

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