HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Although the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine ushered in newfound hope that the end to the pandemic was near, getting vaccinated was still a sad moment for some healthcare workers.
One Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center security executive said her experience was emotional because she lost her grandfather to the virus just a couple weeks before.
"I was in tears. I couldn't even control myself," said Brigid Roberson, Memorial Hermann TMC Regional Director of Security. "I hated that I got to that point, but that's how much that vaccine meant to me."
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2020 was a tough year for her to do her job, she said.
"In security, you're going to be touching people from time to time. You're going to be close to people from time to time. You're trying to de-escalate situations. You're trying to calm people's nerves down in the worst of times," she explained.
Then, she lost her grandfather who was known for living life to the fullest.
"We called him 'The Legend, James Avery' because he was 92 years young, and he lived life to the fullest. He made us have a party every year," said Roberson.
Avery moved to a nursing home this past year, but passed away on Dec. 7 after testing positive for COVID-19. She said parting with him was really difficult.
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"When you watch your loved one sit behind a glass, you can't go in and give them hope. They can't hear you because you can't go in that room. It gives you a different feeling, and you want to do more," said Roberson.
So, she did do more. She got the vaccine in his honor, even wearing a T-shirt dedicated to her grandfather.
Now, she wants others to do their part to protect themselves and others from this deadly virus.
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"It becomes a level of responsibility that we all should have," she said.
Now, Roberson said she plans to carry on her grandfather's legacy in all that she does.
"He will always live on in my heart because of the things he instilled in me," she said.
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TX Med Center employee says getting COVID-19 vaccine was emotional moment