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Vaccinated father's obit: 'He was infected by someone who chose to not get vaccinated...'

Clark Allen's daughters were shocked when their 84-year-old father caught COVID-19. He'd been fully vaccinated since January. They urge people now to get a shot.

LANTANA, Fla. — Clark Allen's obituary starts out pretty standard. He actually left his children an outline of how it should go.

Clark R. Allen of Lantana, Florida, passed away on July 22, 2021, at the age of 84.

But the next few lines stray from Clark's template.

He was infected by someone who chose to not get vaccinated and his death was preventable. It is the wish of his family that everyone get vaccinated in order to prevent further death, sickness and heartbreak.

Danielle and Nicole Allen refused to bury their truth. Danielle said the family moved her dad into an assisted living facility in Lantana, Florida, a few years ago. They thought it would be the safest option.

He was getting older and lived with COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a terminal lung disease.

Since March 2020, Danielle and her six older siblings have worried about their father catching COVID-19 as the pandemic ravaged the globe and Florida.

"It was a year of worrying about him. When he got the vaccine, we were relieved, we were still careful and he was still being so careful," she said.

Danielle said Clark was vaccinated in January 2021. 

"It felt like we had crossed the finish line, you know? We had been so worried for so long," she said. In July, the unthinkable. "He was in a state of shock. I think we all thought he was safe. He did too."

Danielle said her father wasn't quick to get tested for COVID-19 when he was having trouble breathing because he was vaccinated and he thought his COPD was just acting up.

When the medical staff at a nearby hospital diagnosed him with COVID, everyone was puzzled.

Danielle said, "He was the hospital’s first vaccinated COVID case."

She and her sister flew to Florida from Oregon and Connecticut. Doctors released him after a few days but just 12 hours later, Danielle says staff at the assisted living facility called 911 again.

"Within 12 hours of being released from the hospital, he was unable to breathe on his own," said Danielle, who explained that her father's lungs couldn't handle a ventilator and doctors then advised calling hospice.

In between shock and sadness, Danielle and Nicole, Clark's two youngest daughters, also navigated feeling angry.

They believe their father got COVID-19 from an unvaccinated person at the assisted living facility where he lived.

"The only place he was unmasked was in the assisted living," Danielle said.

The two sisters worked on the obituary together and came up with the words they wanted to share with the world.

"It initially started out pretty angry and we had to change the wording to make it less angry and more approachable," Danielle said.

She believes her dad is a prime example of why you get a vaccine — not just for yourself but to protect those around you.

"We know now he didn’t have the immune response. He’s older, he’s immune-compromised, he didn’t have the immune response he needed to it (the vaccine) and a booster probably would have made a lot of difference for him," Danielle said.

Credit: Danielle Allen

The rest of Clark's obituary sticks to the script.

Clark participated in the Marine Corps Platoon Leadership program and he served as an officer for three years once he graduated. 

He was a certified EMT and EMT trainer.

Clark firmly believed in everyone's right to vote and in the democratic process.

It cannot go unmentioned how much Clark enjoyed animals.

He leaves behind seven children, 17 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

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