Mom of 4 Dies of COVID 1 Week After Firefighter Husband as Family Urges Others to Get Vaccinated

Jeff Hager, a 24-year veteran of the fire department, died of COVID-19 on Sept. 10, and was followed by his wife, Amee

Jeff and Amee Hager
Photo: Caring Bridge

A mother of four from North Carolina died of COVID-19 just days after her husband, a 24-year veteran of the local fire department, succumbed to the virus following a weeks-long battle.

Firefighter Jeff Hager and his wife Amee were both diagnosed with COVID-19 on Aug. 23, according to the Huntersville Fire Department. The couple was admitted to a local hospital on Aug. 28, and their conditions continued to worsen from there. Their vaccination status is unknown.

The couple shared four children, aged 14, 13, 7 and 6, according to the fire department.

Jeff died on Sept. 10, and Amee followed about a week later, according to an update on the family's CaringBridge page.

"It is with broken hearts that we share this with you," reads the message dated Sept. 18. "Our precious Amee has lost the battle with this horrible Covid. She is no longer in pain or struggling to breathe. Her lungs are filled with the sweet breath of Jesus, our Lord and Savior."

"Our hearts are shattered and there are no words to explain the pain and grief we are feeling," it continued, in part. "I only pray that we can find the right words to tell Amee and Jeff's precious children that now, both their parents are gone."

The announcement on CaringBridge came with a request from Jeff and Amee's loved ones: get vaccinated.

"If you are not vaccinated…..please go and get it," the message read. "You cannot be replaced! Don't leave your families behind to deal with this kind of pain and grief!"

A GoFundMe campaign set up to benefit the couple's children has raised over $92,000 as of Monday afternoon.

"Money raised is accessible by the family and handled by the family. If you drop off gift cards or money to the fire station - we will hand all of it over to their family representative," the Huntsville Fire Department said in a post to social media.

RELATED VIDEO: Unvaccinated TikToker Who Died of COVID Spent Last Days Urging Followers to Get the Vaccine

As of Monday, 54 percent of the country's population has been vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the New York Times.

On Sunday, Sept. 19, 148,202 new cases of the virus were recorded in the United States.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

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