Digital trail of tears: Mississippi COVID-19 stories tragically shared on social media

Published 2:51 pm Thursday, August 19, 2021

Mississippians who are desperately sick with COVID-19 are using social media posts to reach out to friends and families and often leave a solemn digital trail of their ever-worsening condition.

While there are dozens of examples being shared across social media by friends, families, church groups and prayer groups, here are a few examples indicative of how social media has become an information source for circles in Mississippi communities:

Young loss

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Alicia Brooke Vancor a 25-year-old from Pelahatchie worked as a receptionist at the Brandon Veterinary Clinic.

On August 3, Alicia Brooke Vancor posted: “Feeling sick … unspoken prayer request please!”

A week later, she shared a fundraising link for a cousin who had tragically lost a child in an accident.

On August 14, she posted that she was at Mississippi Baptist Medical Center.
“I need prayers please I’m in so much pain I had to stay her(e) last night without Dillon. Hopefully they can figure out what’s wrong today so I can go home this has been a terrifying experience I’ve never been so sick in my life.”

As the prayers and well wishes flowed in on that post, it was interrupted by a friend who delivered the jarring news:

“This sweet girl passed away into the arms of Jesus this morning.”

Another friend wrote: “It’s very sad…. I wish this virus would leave here just as fast as it came!”

Her employer, the Brandon Veterinary Clinic then shared the news with their social friends:

“It with great sadness that we must close for the remainder of the day to mourn a great loss of our own staff-family. Alicia was more than a co-worker to us all. She had the kindest heart and a gentle soul. She served our clients and their pets well here at Brandon Veterinary Clinic since October of 2016. Please excuse us as we mourn this day, today. We will resume our normal business hours beginning tomorrow, Wednesday the 17th until arrangements are made. Thank you for your understanding.”

Faithful servant

Carl Rogers worked as a car salesman in Gulfport, but his heart was filled with faith in his Lord.

His friends noted that his last personal social media post was a devotional live video.

“I love expounding about God and talking about God and repping God and understanding what team I am on,” Rogers said in the public Facebook video devotional.

Three weeks later he was dead of complications of COVID-19, his friend said.

They’ve set up a GoFund Me fundraiser to help pay for his funeral arrangements.

Young mother

Taylor Manning (as we write this) is clinging to life in an ICU bed, with a ventilator helping her breathe.

The Ocean Springs woman was diagnosed with COVID-19 when she was approximately 35 weeks pregnant. As her condition worsened, she was hospitalized and the baby, Maevi, was delivered by C-section.

Her sister, Tiffany Ladnier Craven has used Facebook to communicate with Manning’s family and friends, updating them periodically on her condition.

“At this point, I think everyone knows my sister, Taylor Manning, has been very sick since delivering Maevi,” Craven wrote on August 9. “She may be going back on the ventilator soon. Please, please pray for my sister and family. I’m absolutely heartbroken to have to even put this post up. She has 3 children, a husband, and entire family that need her to be strong and heal!!”

Manning was placed back on the ventilator a short time later, where she remained Thursday.

“Pray for Daniel and all of Taylor’s babies,” Craven wrote. “We are in need of a miracle and I know God is still in that business. And remember all the other patients in the ICU. Sadly, her situation is not unique. There are so many whose lives are just hanging in the balance right now.”