Wake, funeral used to promote vaccinations
BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – A young widow in Rockledge hopes the loss of her family can be an educational moment for others and an opportunity to serve her community.
Charnese Davis said she wanted to prevent others from experiencing the pain she and her family suffer after her husband, Marquis, died from the effects of COVID-19.
What you need to know
- Charnese and Marquis Davis were friends who were going back to middle school
- Marquis died of COVID-19 after battling it in hospital for six days
- Both the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be offered on Friday and Saturday as part of Davis’ wake and funeral
Thanks to the help of Rev. Shaun Ferguson of Faith Temple Christian Center in Rockledge and the Florida Department of Health in Brevard County, the Marquis Davis wake and funeral will now be an opportunity for people to get vaccinated and tested for COVID-19 for free .
“What better way to say, ‘Marquis, we love you, we value you?” Said Ferguson.
Charnese and Marquis had known each other since high school. Charnese said they flirted with each other but didn’t start dating until after high school when they went on a date on July 4, 2013 after Charnese had their son.
“We exchanged numbers and then talked every day from July 4th. Then on July 27th he said, ‘Stop playing with me and let’s make it official,’ she said.
Charnese said the Marquis was a good family man who grew up in a family of seven sisters and two brothers. After his mother died at the age of 17, Marquis took on the role of father for his family.
Charnese said that was part of what made him such a good role model for her son when they started dating. She said he has a good work ethic, including starting a lawn care business and a t-shirt printing company.
“And he was about to get ready and start doing the mobile detailing,” she said. “So he had a lot of visions and he worked hard.”
She noted that when the pandemic broke out, Marquis made sure he practiced social distancing at work. However, he was resistant to the idea of getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
“He got stuck in his ways and didn’t want to get it,” said Charnese. “And that’s a lot of people my age.”
Without the protection of a vaccine, Marquis ended up at Rockledge Regional Medical Center, where he battled the coronavirus for six days. There he told Charnese that he would get the vaccine as soon as he could leave and hoped his family would get it too.
Unfortunately, he died before that happened.
“I just wish he had got it,” Charnese said through tears. “Because people just don’t know how that affects everyone else.”
The Christian Center of the Temple of Faith offers vaccinations and testing facilities on Fridays from 4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
“I hope that the young people in our community who come out for Marquis’ Homegoing will simply choose, that they will choose to just get the vaccine,” said Charnese’s aunt, pink priest.
This is the third time the Church has run a vaccination campaign for the ward. Both the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be available.