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 in opposition to COVID-19.
“I don’t have a lot of energy for talking, so I’m going to try to make this quick,” stated Blankenbiller, who lived within the Jacksonville, FL, space. “I did not get vaccinated. I’m not anti-vax; I was just trying to do my research. I was scared.”
“I do think it was a mistake,” she continued. “I shouldn’t have waited. If you are even 70% sure you want the vaccine, go get it. Don’t wait. Go get it. Because hopefully if you get it, then you won’t end up in the hospital like me.”
9 days later, she died. She was 31.
Like many People, Blankenbiller had been hesitant to get the vaccine. She had learn conflicting details about the accessible COVID-19 photographs, and she or he and her household didn’t need to get immunized till everybody was on board.
“It’s no secret this is something that should be taken seriously,” says her sister, Cristina Blankenbiller. “But there’s so much misinformation out there.”
Once they all agreed to get their photographs, Blankenbiller, alongside together with her mom and two sisters, made their appointments. However they fell unwell earlier than their scheduled time slots.
Blankenbiller acquired the worst of it. Her blood oxygen degree continued to plummet till she went to Orange County Medical Heart, the place medical doctors, nurses, and her 15,000 TikTok followers have 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 completed for her.
“Her final video really showed a lot of who she was,” says her different sister, Rachel Blankenbiller “She was selfless — the type of person who used her final days to help others.”
Her final 4 movies have been taken within the hospital. In a chilling video from Aug. 13, there have been screams coming from one other room. Blankenbiller regarded scared.
Sadly, her case is just not 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 bear in mind Blankenbiller for her kindness; she was the kind of one who would cease a stranger on the grocery retailer to pay a praise, Rachel says.
“She found beauty in everything and everyone,” she says. “She loved people without judgment. Regardless of whether you wanted 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 have been engaged on a screenplay collectively. She apologized that her sickness would intrude together with her work and had deliberate to write down from her hospital mattress till the an infection grew to become too extreme.
“The day before she went to the hospital, she was sending me pages,” Freeman says. “She didn’t feel good, but she was pushing through.”
Blankenbiller can also be mourned by the Jax Treblemakers, a neighborhood a cappella group, which thought of her a member of their household. She auditioned for them in 2016, and stood out for her positivity and humor immediately, says Alec Hadden, the group’s govt and creative director.
“She cared deeply about helping others, and I think it was that compassion for others that drove her to try and educate people through her final few videos,” Hadden says. “She did not want anyone, even a stranger watching her videos on TikTok, to go through the pain and heartache that she and others on the COVID ward were going through. And if she could help even one person, she would.”