A father of five has died of COVID-related complications barely days after losing his wife to the virus. The Virginia man, who ‘treasured’ his children, was admitted to the hospital on September 23, the day of his wife’s death. They were both unvaccinated.
After spending two weeks in the hospital, 48-year-old Kevin Mitchem also died, leaving behind their five children, including an older child from a previous relationship.
His brother, Mike Mitchem, told McClatchy News, Kevin was a devoted father who enjoyed spending time with his kids.
He would take them everywhere — take them fishing, take them to the park, take them to county fairs. He would take them to events that they had around town — whatever he could do to get the kids out of the house and make sure they had fun
Kevin, who worked as a heavy equipment operator, had a lingering cough and later tested positive for the virus. He was otherwise an active and healthy person with no underlying conditions. However, his brother said, Kevin was sceptical about getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
Then, when he wasn’t working, he was cutting grass with my dad or going around picking up scrap metal to make a little extra money. We tried telling him: ‘It is better to get the vaccine
Just around the same time that he took ill, his wife was diagnosed with the virus as well. Misty Mitchem was in her 40s and did not agree to take the vaccine either, although she was advised to due to being diabetic.
The couple’s four youngest children now live with relatives in South Carolina. The wife of the first child, Rachael Rhodes, told The Free Lance-Star:
My heart breaks for their children, who are going through this terrible situation. The loss of one parent is difficult enough, but to lose both parents within a short time span is devastating.