Newborn daughter of Derry woman who died from Covid-19 after giving birth is baptised during mum's funeral

Newborn daughter of Derry woman who died from Covid-19 after giving birth is baptised during mum's funeral

A YOUNG Derry woman who tragically  passed away from Covid-19 despite having no underlying health conditions has been laid to rest.

Samantha Willis, 35, died from Covid-19 shortly after giving birth to her daughter Evigrace, after becoming infected with the virus while heavily pregnant.

Despite being desperately ill, Ms Willis was able to safely deliver her newborn daughter, but tragically was too sick to properly hold her, and passed away without ever getting to meet her child.

Baby Eviegrace was baptised during her mother's funeral (Image: GoFundMe)

Her husband, Josh Willis, the couple's two eldest children Holly and Shea, and Samantha's mother were by her bedside as she "slipped away", and the family have been devastated by her loss.

"She did her best to come home to her family and beautiful children," Mr Willis wrote in a post on social media. "I will make sure that Eviegrace will know all about the mother she will never meet. I will never let anyone forget you and I will remember all the special times and experiences we shared together."

Mr Willis urged everyone to receive the Covid-19 vaccine to protect themselves and others, as he revealed his beloved wife had been unvaccinated when she contracted the disease as she had been advised to wait until further research was available into receiving the vaccine while pregnant.

Mr and Mrs Willis

Samantha Willis, a mother of three, was laid to rest in St Columb's Church in Derry yesterday with her newborn daughter being carried behind her coffin, which was adorned in white flowers.

According to Belfast Live, baby Eviegrace was also baptised during the ceremony.

Mrs Willis was then buried in the nearby Ballyoan Cemetery.

A GoFundMe has been set up to assist Mrs Willis's family during this tremendously difficult time, and has already raised over £8,000 for her husband and three young children.

The Willis family in happier times (Image: GoFundMe)

"Family and friends have been left devastated by her sudden passing at what should be a joyous occasion to celebrate," the fundraiser reads.

"At her funeral mass on the 23rd of August, Josh decided to have Eviegrace baptised,  ensuring that Samantha would be present.

"Anyone who knew Samantha would agree she had a heart of gold. She was always looking out for other people and was much loved in her role as a carer.

"She will be sorely missed by her family and friends. So many of us are feeling helpless at the moment and hopefully, this page will help Josh and the children in the tough times ahead."

You can read more, or donate to assist Mrs Willis's family, on the fundraising website here.