The moment to get vaccinated against Covid-19 was exciting for 15-year-old student Bruna Santana Prates Gomes, who paid tribute to family members who died from the disease. The teenager lost her mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and three uncles in a period of almost three months. In order to raise awareness, she went to a vaccination post in Santos, on the coast of São Paulo, accompanied by a poster remembering the six relatives.
“I did the tribute so that people begin to become aware that the vaccine saves and that they are not afraid. That seeing the deaths on the poster, they have an idea of what coronavirus is”, he vents in an interview with G1 this Wednesday (1st).
The teenager lived in São Felipe, a city in the interior of Bahia, with her mother. However, he had traveled to stay with his father on the coast of São Paulo and remained in the city due to the increase in cases of Covid-19, as he could study remotely. During the period he was in Santos, six family members contracted the virus.
Bruna explains that an uncle was the first to become infected, when other relatives became infected. She followed the news from afar and learned of the death of him and his grandmother, 67, in March of this year. Her 47-year-old mother was also infected and was hospitalized for a period. She remembers that she counted the days for her discharge.
“My mother died 16 days before I turned 15, a special date. Because of the pandemic there was no party, but one of my biggest wishes when she was in the hospital was that she could get out of sedation before my birthday so I could get it. hearing her congratulate me. It was hard to spend this birthday without her,” she says emotionally.
Bruna lost her 47-year-old mother to Covid-19 in April 2021 — Photo: Personal Archive
The student also lost two other uncles and her great-grandmother, the only one who had the chance to be immunized. Bruna also explains that one of the reasons her mother preferred her to stay in Santos was the fact that vaccination was faster. The teenager says that she was thrilled to receive the dose, this Tuesday (31), at the Rebouças Sports Complex. She remembered each of the relatives she’d lost over the past few months.
“I took it as much for myself as for them, who didn’t have the chance to take this vaccine. There was an enormous emotion and feeling of gratitude for having endured all this and being here today,” stated Bruna.
At 15, she reiterates the importance of adolescents seeking immunization as soon as possible, stressing how much only the vaccine can help. “It’s no use posting on social networks that you want everything to go back to normal if you’re scared when it’s time to get the vaccine and you don’t want to. This was an incentive for people, especially teenagers,” he describes.
Bruna’s father, production operator Welithon Prates Gomes, 53, reports that the vaccine and the tribute were moments of emotion. It reinforces the need for people to be aware. “People don’t believe in research, science and it hurts a lot when it happens to someone close to us. I know what my daughter has gone through and is going through and I don’t wish it on anyone. It’s something that’s happening and if you don’t prevent it, you’ll go end up reaching us,” says the operator.
Young paid tribute to family members by immunizing in Santos, SP — Photo: Personal Archive