‘When I saw him, he did not look like himself’: Birmingham man dies after contracting UK COVID-19 variant


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A Birmingham woman is opening up after losing her husband to a UK variant of COVID-19.

Alfonzia ‘A.J.’ Jackson Jr. died Tuesday at UAB hospital after spending more than a week there.

“I am outside his door and I’m like, ‘I can’t hold his hand, I can’t say anything to him or rub him and say it’s going to be ok, we’re going to be ok,” said his wife, Ashley Jackson.

Despite not traveling out of the country, Jackson said her husband was one of the first people in Alabama to test positive for the variant.

After feeling ill, A.J. Jackson took several COVID-19 tests but never received a positive result. He was admitted to UAB hospital with a heart issue when his wife said doctors discovered he had the variant.

“I want people to know that if you feel bad, get tested again, or go to your primary and go further because in my case, we had five covid tests, or seven outside the ones we took, all negative,” said Jackson.

He was moved to a COVID floor and later on to a ventilator before his death. The Jacksons had been married almost eight years.

“I met him the day after my birthday and it was a blind date. We went for lunch,” said Jackson.
A.J. Jackson leaves behind two daughters who will now grow up without him.

“I lost my father when I was 28, and my mom when I was 30. They’re six and four. And it’s not fair,” said Jackson.

The last few years have been especially difficult for Ashley Jackson. She lost her father, her mother, her cousin, and other relatives to various health issues. Now she’s preparing to say goodbye to her husband.

The family said doctors are doing an autopsy on A.J.’s body in hopes of learning more about the new variant.

“I don’t want anybody to experience what I have experienced,” said Jackson.

Funeral preparations will be underway soon. Until then, the family is finding comfort in the love from friends and strangers.

“To see the type of love that he has and getting support all around the world is just mind-blowing to me,” said Jackson.

Loved ones started a GoFundMe in hopes of raising money towards expenses. You can read more here.

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