Unvaccinated mum ‘never got to hold newborn’ & only saw her for 'two seconds' before she died of Covid, husband reveals

AN unvaccinated mum saw her newborn baby for just two seconds before she died of Covid, her heartbroken husband has revealed.

Samantha Willis, 35, also never got to hold little Eviegrace following an agonising 16-day stint in hospital with the virus.

She was desperate to have her partner Josh by her side but was forced to give birth alone.

Samantha only had her family on FaceTime for support during the emergency C-section – something else she never wanted to have.

Josh said he had tried to arrange for her to cradle their daughter before her condition worsened, but sadly it was too late.

Samantha died days later on August 20, with her funeral and Eviegrace's christening taking place in the same emotional service the following week.

Today, Josh shared the pain of losing his wife, who tragically never got to properly meet their youngest daughter.

He told Good Morning Britain: "When the baby was born, she dropped down slightly and it was like 'here's your daughter' and then they whisked her off into the next room because of close contact with Covid, and obviously they have checks they do on newborns anyway.

"So it was two, three seconds tops that she had seen her.

"She carried her for eight months and then never got to hold her in her arms."

He added that the "two things she never wanted to do at any time" were to have a C-section and "give birth on her own".

"Me and our daughter were on a FaceTime call while it was happening," Josh said.

"She had gotten over the part that she needed to have a section as it was safer for her and the baby at the time.

"The fact that we were on a FaceTime meant we were kind of there with her."

The dad-of-four – who said goodbye to Samantha at her funeral where two-week-old Eviegrace was carried behind her coffin – previously revealed the "love of his life" had not had a coronavirus jab.

The official advice when she found out she was pregnant was not to have it until after giving birth, but this was later updated after studies showed it was safe.

Samantha decided as she didn't have long left of her pregnancy, she would wait.

Josh, from Strathfoyle, Northern Ireland, said he hopes by sharing his and Samantha's story he can encourage others – including expectant mothers – to get vaccinated against Covid and save lives.

I would not wish this on anybody.

He told GMB's Susanna Reid and Ben Shephard: "I know that she had cared about people getting the vaccine.

"I feel this is the last thing I can do for her to basically try to make her proud.

"If we save one person or one family from going through what Samantha and we as a family have had to go through then I think we've done her proud and she'd be happy.

"Hopefully some day she can thank me for it.

"I would not wish this on anybody."


Josh said he and his wife had avoided pubs and restaurants during lockdown, had consistently worn face masks, and he had worked from home while Samantha was on maternity leave and their kids were off school.

Despite their precautions, the couple contracted the virus on the same day while Samantha was pregnant.

Sadly her condition worsened and she was rushed to Altnagelvin Area Hospital in Derry.

Samantha "put up a strong fight" but died 16 days later.

She leaves behind her husband, four children – Shéa, Holly, Lilyanna and Eviegrace – her parents and extended family.

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