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25th Aug 2021

Samantha Willis’ husband pays touching tribute after wife’s funeral

Sarah McKenna Barry

“I wish I had more memories.”

Josh Willis, who lost his wife Samantha to Covid-19 last week, has described her as “loving” and “caring” in a touching tribute.

The Derry woman passed away shortly after her baby Eviegrace was delivered. She was also a mum to four year-old Lilyanna.

Initially, Samantha had mild symptoms of Covid-19, but they gradually became worse and she experienced severe breathlessness.

She was soon admitted to hospital where she gave birth. Sadly, she didn’t recover from Covid-19 and passed away last week.

On RTÉ’s Today with Philip Boucher Hayes, Mr Willis spoke about Samantha’s final days.

He said: “She was texting me before she went back to the ICU and was being really positive, so I just kept that in mind, be positive.”

He continued: “Standing at the graveside on Monday, I could hear her telling me, ‘That’s it, we can’t change anything. Move on and sort the children out.’

?Samantha Willis ? 15.5.86 – 20.8.21I never thought I would be writing something like this…

Posted by Josh Willis on Friday, August 20, 2021

“She would probably say just leave me here and forget about me. I’m obviously not going to do that, but that’s the kind of person she was, putting herself last again.

“I have a lot of memories. I just wish I had more memories. She was loving, caring, a good wife, a good mother. She loved her job. She put everybody before herself.”

Mr Willis has since called for the public to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

Samantha found out she was pregnant last Christmas, when the advice for pregnant women was to not get the vaccine. The couple decided that Samantha would get the vaccine once the baby was born.

Mr Willis said: “We thought it wouldn’t make a difference, but it made the worst difference.”

Josh himself contracted Covid-19, but as he was fully vaccinated, his symptoms were not as severe.

He said: “I lost my taste and smell and that’s bad in itself when you’re hungry and trying to eat and everything tastes the same, but in the grand scheme of things I would take that the rest of my life, get Samantha back.”