A Father Died of COVID-19. His Children Got Vaccinated on the Same Day They Buried Him

The children of Edmund Rigby say their father went through great lengths to protect himself against the virus

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A group of siblings waited in line at a mobile vaccination center in NW Miami-Dade Saturday. Their father’s death from COVID-19 compelled them to get the shot.

“We actually just came from burying him, so we want to make sure ... it’s a big family. We want to make sure we’re protected,” David Lightborn said.

The adult children of Edmund Rigby came straight to Olinda Park after his burial, where a small mobile vaccination site began running Saturday morning. Organizers say the first mobile vaccination clinic in South Florida had 500 COVID-19 vaccines available.

These siblings say they wanted to take after their father, who went to great lengths to protect himself against the coronavirus.

“He was being careful. He was wearing his mask, washing his hands, everything that they tell you to do,” his daughter, Brenda Lightborn, said.

Courtesy of Brenda Lightborn

In fact, Rigby, who was 78, had received the COVID vaccine.

“He got the first dose and while he was waiting to get the second, he ended up getting the virus," his daughter said. "And he was hospitalized before his second shot was even available … and gone. Gone in less than two weeks."

The Lightborn siblings decided to roll up their sleeves for the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine Saturday afternoon so that the day they laid their father to rest might also be the day that would mark a new chapter in their health. It’s what they say their father would have wanted.

Mobile vaccination site at Olinda Park

“He was a normal, healthy guy. Always watching the news and always watching …And never thought he would be one of the numbers,” his son said.

The state-run mobile vaccination clinic partnered with Miami-Dade County commissioner Keon Hardemon to make it easier for people in District 3, many of whom are underserved, to access the shot.

The mobile unit, operated by Matrix Medical Network, will be parked at the Salvation Army at 1907 NW 38th Street in Miami from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

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