Sept. 7, 2021 — TikTok creator artist Alexandra Blankenbiller posted her last video on Aug. 15 from her hospital bed. Voice raspy, breathing with the help of a machine, she pleaded with her followers to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
“I don’t have a lot of energy for talking, so I’m going to try to make this quick,” said Blankenbiller, who lived in the Jacksonville, FL, area. “I did not get vaccinated. I’m not anti-vax; I was just trying to do my research. I was scared.”
“I do think it was a mistake,” she continued. “I shouldn’t have waited. If you are even 70% sure you want the vaccine, go get it. Don’t wait. Go get it. Because hopefully if you get it, then you won’t end up in the hospital like me.”
Nine days later, she died. She was 31.
Like many Americans, Blankenbiller had been hesitant to get the vaccine. She had read conflicting information about the available COVID-19 shots, and she and her family didn’t want to get immunized until everyone was on board.
“It’s no secret this is something that should be taken seriously,” says her sister, Cristina Blankenbiller. “But there’s so much misinformation out there.”
When they all agreed to get their shots, Blankenbiller, along with her mother and two sisters, made their appointments. But they fell ill before their scheduled time slots.
Blankenbiller got the worst of it. Her blood oxygen level continued to plummet until she went to Orange County Medical Center, where doctors, nurses, and her 15,000 TikTok followers were her only company. Her family wasn’t allowed to visit until they received a call that nothing more that could be done for her.
“Her final video really showed a lot of who she was,” says her other sister, Rachel Blankenbiller “She was selfless — the type of person who used her final days to help others.”
Her last four videos were taken in the hospital. In a chilling video from Aug. 13, there were screams coming from another room. Blankenbiller looked scared.