In her final TikTok video before her death, Megan Alexandra Blankenbiller encouraged her thousands of followers to get vaccinated as she fought Covid-19 from a hospital.
"I don't have a lot of energy for talking, so I'm going to try and make this quick. I'm going to be taking a couple of breaks," Blankenbiller said in the Aug. 15 video, which has been viewed more than 850,000 times.
"So, just to follow up again, like I said in my other videos, I did not get vaccinated," said Blankenbiller, who lived in the Jacksonville, Florida, area, according to WebMD. "I'm not anti-vax. I was just trying to do my research. I was scared, and I wanted me and my family to all do it at the same time. And as I'm sure you guys know, it's hard to get everyone to agree on something if people feel differently."
Blankenbiller, who appeared to struggle to catch her breath, said not having gotten vaccinated "was a mistake."
"I shouldn't have waited," she said before pleading with her followers: "If you are even 70 percent sure that 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."
The video was posted a little more than a week before Blankenbiller died. Her sister Cristina Blankenbiller confirmed her death in a Facebook post.
"Thank you all for your prayers for my family. I am saddened and heart broken to share that my older sister has been called to heaven today. Megan was such a beautiful person who gave her everything to anyone in need. She was a light to all around her and brought joy to everyone she met," the Aug. 24 Facebook post read.
"She is forever loved and was the best big sister and friend anybody could have asked for. Not a day will go by where she is not on my mind and in my heart."
Megan Blankenbiller revealed that she had Covid and had been hospitalized in an Aug. 13 TikTok video. In another post, she got emotional as she talked about hearing what she assumed were the screams of family members who had lost a loved one.
"I know what that's like personally and what that sounds like," she said.
Cristina Blankenbiller declined a phone interview on Thursday. She said via Facebook messenger that the family, including her mother and sisters, had set up an appointment to get vaccinated but tested positive for the virus in early August before they could get the shots. Megan Blankenbiller had the worst symptoms, she added.
"Megan was a genuinely happy and sincere person. She wanted to spread joy and bring a smile to everybody's face. She would build people up and motivate people to be kind to one another," Cristina Blankenbiller said.
She believes people were drawn to her sister's TikTok because of her positive outlook on life.
"She was the kind of person who chose to see the world through rose-colored glasses, trying to find beauty in everything. I think that kind of outlook is what drew people into her," Cristina Blankenbiller said. "Her laugh was infectious and you couldn't come across her without your mood becoming better."
Her other sister, Rachel Blankenbiller, told WebMD: "Her final video really showed a lot of who she was. She was selfless — the type of person who used her final days to help others."