Sept. 7, 2021 — TikTok creator and artist Alexandra Blankenbiller posted her final video on Aug. 15 from her hospital mattress. Voice raspy, breathing with the assistance of a machine, she pleaded together with her followers to get vaccinated towards COVID-19.
“I don’t have quite a lot of power for speaking, so I’m going to attempt to make this fast,” mentioned Blankenbiller, who lived within the Jacksonville, FL, space. “I didn’t get vaccinated. I’m not anti-vax; I used to be simply attempting to do my analysis. I used to be scared.”
“I do assume it was a mistake,” she continued. “I shouldn’t have waited. In case you are even 70% positive you need the vaccine, go get it. Don’t wait. Go get it. As a result of hopefully if you happen to get it, then you definitely gained’t find yourself within the hospital like me.”
9 days later, she died. She was 31.
Like many Individuals, Blankenbiller had been hesitant to get the vaccine. She had learn conflicting details about the accessible COVID-19 pictures, and she or he and her household didn’t wish to get immunized till everybody was on board.
“It is no secret that is one thing that ought to be taken significantly,” says her sister, Cristina Blankenbiller. “However there’s a lot misinformation on the market.”
After they all agreed to get their pictures, Blankenbiller, alongside together with her mom and two sisters, made their appointments. However they fell sick earlier than their scheduled time slots.
Blankenbiller acquired the worst of it. Her blood oxygen stage continued to plummet till she went to Orange County Medical Heart, the place docs, nurses, and her 15,000 TikTok followers had been her solely firm. Her household wasn’t allowed to go to till they acquired a name that nothing extra that may very well be finished for her.
“Her ultimate video actually confirmed quite a lot of who she was,” says her different sister, Rachel Blankenbiller “She was selfless — the kind of one that used her ultimate days to assist others.”
Her final 4 movies had been taken within the hospital. In a chilling video from Aug. 13, there have been screams coming from one other room. Blankenbiller appeared scared.
Sadly, her case will not be distinctive. Based on CDC knowledge, Florida is seeing its deadliest surge of COVID-19 for the reason that starting of the pandemic. Solely 54% of the state inhabitants was fully vaccinated as of Sept. 3.
Family and friends keep in mind Blankenbiller for her kindness; she was the kind of one that would cease a stranger on the grocery retailer to pay a praise, Rachel says.
“She discovered magnificence in every little thing and everybody,” she says. “She liked individuals with out judgment. No matter whether or not you wished her love or not, you’d get it.”
Royce Freeman, 41, met Blankenbiller at a neighborhood filmmaker meetup in 2016. Blankenbiller started visiting him on movie units when he labored and would supply assist with out asking for credit score. When she died, she and Freeman had been engaged on a screenplay collectively. She apologized that her sickness would intrude together with her work and had deliberate to jot down from her hospital mattress till the an infection grew to become too extreme.
“The day earlier than she went to the hospital, she was sending me pages,” Freeman says. “She didn’t really feel good, however she was pushing by.”
Blankenbiller can also be mourned by the Jax Treblemakers, a neighborhood a cappella group, which thought-about her a member of their household. She auditioned for them in 2016, and stood out for her positivity and humor straight away, says Alec Hadden, the group’s govt and creative director.
“She cared deeply about serving to others, and I feel it was that compassion for others that drove her to try to educate individuals by her ultimate few movies,” Hadden says. “She didn’t need anybody, even a stranger watching her movies on TikTok, to undergo the ache and heartache that she and others on the COVID ward had been going by. And if she may assist even one particular person, she would.”