An unvaccinated truck driver died of Covid-19. His mother has a message for protesting Canadian truck drivers
An unvaccinated truck driver died of Covid-19.  His mother has a message for protesting Canadian truck drivers

An unvaccinated truck driver died of Covid-19. His mother has a message for protesting Canadian truck drivers

David Mitchell, 70, was a veteran trucker before he died Oct. 15, Makins said. She says her son was not vaccinated.

“It’s a horrible thing to see someone die of this disease,” Makins, who lives in a small town in Ontario, told CNN on Tuesday. “I hope (these hauliers) can hear what I have to say and how bad Covid can be and maybe save someone in their family or even themselves.”

Thousands of Canadian truck drivers are in their second week of protests against a mandate requiring drivers driving into Canada to be fully vaccinated or face test and quarantine requirements. The group is also against other restrictions, such as mask mandates and Covid-19 lockdowns.

The protests stemmed from the “Freedom Convoy” of truckers crossing the country before arriving in Ottawa, paralyzing the capital.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said these protesters represent a “small, fringe minority.” Nearly 90% of Canada’s truck drivers are fully vaccinated and entitled to cross the border, according to the government.

‘Now all my children are gone’

Mitchell was sick in bed for days before being brought to the hospital for the first time, Makins said. He was released after some tests.

“He looked very sick to me,” Makins said. “He was lying in bed in great pain and could not even reach for his cell phone.”

His condition did not improve even a week later. On Sept. 18, he had difficulty breathing and moaned in pain, Makins said. He was readmitted to the hospital and immediately put on a respirator, she said.

Mitchell was given paralytics, which are used to prevent patients from moving while on a respirator. He could not even move his eyes or hands, Makin remembered, in tears.

“I spent many, many days and nights with his kids in the hospital,” Makins said. “I also stayed overnight and was never ever able to get any response from him.”

When the family decided to take him out of the fan, Mitchell died within minutes while his mother and loved ones held his hand.

Makins lost his last surviving child that day.

Mitchell was Makins’ eldest child; she lost her son Bruce in 2020 and her daughter Jane in 2010, both to cancer.

“Now all my children are gone,” she said. “It’s a bit of the wrong way around. It’s not as it should be.”

The Mitchell family is pictured here about 15 years ago, David (right) sitting with his sister Jane, mother Marg and brother Bruce.

Mitchell leaves behind two sons, a daughter and five grandchildren.

‘My son was not an anti-vaxxer’

Mitchell was never vaccinated, but that was not because he was against the vaccineaccording to his mother.

“My son was not an anti-vaxxer, he just claimed he did not have time – and if he was here, he would be sorry he would not,” Makins said. “He knew he was going to get it, but he just did not manage to do it.”

Mitchell worked hard, drove across Canada and slept in his realm. He often took his dog, Bull, on the trip, his mother said.

Marg Makins hopes unvaccinated Canadian truck drivers will hear her message and be vaccinated.

His roommates called him a legend, Makins said. Mitchell became a truck driver when he was around 19 and still worked at the age of 70 until he became ill, she added.

“He was very sympathetic. Was not very good with the dollar. He used everything (or) gave it away if he could not use it on himself,” Makins said. “He was funny, curious, always had a joke.”

Canadian protesters block the busiest international crossing in North America as tensions rise over Covid-19 rules

Makins’ entire family was vaccinated, except for Mitchell and one of his sons, she said. Makins has received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine and a booster.

Makins said she does not understand why some hauliers refuse the vaccine. The situation begins to “anger” her.

“They are shuts down the economy of our country and (USA), “said Makins.” It’s really disturbing. All kinds of people, no one can go to work or use the roads. Trucks can’t get through with their loads, so it’s time for them to go home. “

She added: “Freedoms are privileges.”

Makins come from a wide range of hauliers. Her father owned a trucking company. Her brothers and both her sons were all hauliers, she said.

She hopes her message can save the lives of others and spare families from this pain.

“You never deal with it, you just learn to cope with it,” Makins said of her loss. “I just want to spare other mothers, other families and other friends” for the grief.

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