HITCHCOCK, Texas — Doctors are pleading with people to get vaccinated, and the story of Pastor Darrell Boone and his wife Lazetta might help.
Lazetta Boone said her physical health is improving, but, as anyone can imagine, her heart is broken.
She said her husband died from COVID last weekend. The couple had been mulling over the idea of getting a vaccine but she said they just hadn’t gotten around to actually getting it.
Pastor Boone and his wife led a house of worship on 4th and Neville, in the heart of Hitchcock.
They started with three members. When the congregation grew to 40, Pastor Boone preached from the rooftop.
The couple was set to celebrate two years at the church next week, but on Aug. 2, the pastor used Facebook to alert members that he was closing the church after he, his wife and a few others contracted COVID.
Pastor Boone asked for prayers so that he could fully recover and continue growing the church.
“Pastor Boone was a really wonderful man,” Hitchcock Police Chief Wilmon Smith said.
Smith talked to the pastor last Wednesday.
“We were actually texting and he told me that he was having a rough time,” Smith said.
On Sunday morning, word spread that Pastor Boone had died.
“This virus is very, very serious and it’s taken a lot of people out,” Smith said. “And we just want to be careful and to encourage one another.”
Hitchcock hosted two vaccine clinics Tuesday. Smith said his city has one of the lowest vaccination rates in Galveston County.
“Last week, our numbers for Hitchcock were at 38%,” he said.
“We’re still seeing very uneven acceptance of the vaccination at this point,” Dr. Philip Keiser said.
Keiser is Galveston County's Health Authority.
“We’re seeing more COVID in our community than we’ve ever seen and we’re seeing more people in the hospital than we’ve ever seen,” Keiser said. “It’s time to get a vaccine. It’s just time.”
The community wants to celebrate the life of Pastor Boone, but those plans are on pause as his wife continues her hospitalized fight against COVID.
As painful as this all is, Keiser said he's hopeful Pastor Boone’s life and story resonate with at least one person.
Doctors think it’s these personal stories that might help someone reconsider their vaccine hesitancy.