UK coronavirus variant kills Alabama dad, 35, wife claims

The B.1.1.7 variant was first identified in the U.K. late last year

A 35-year-old father of two in Alabama has succumbed to a coronavirus variant that was first identified in the United Kingdom, his wife said. 

Alfonzia Jackson Jr. died on Feb. 2, less than a month after he was taken to UAB Hospital in Birmingham after experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, namely shortness of breath and fever, according to a GoFundMe post in his name. 

After he was admitted to the hospital, the 35-year-old’s heart began to fail, leading him to require emergency surgery, his wife, Ashley Jackson, wrote. He later required extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, also known as extracorporeal life support, as well as a ventilator. His condition failed to improve and Jackson lost his battle to the virus on Tuesday. 

Jackson’s wife claims she was contacted by the Jefferson County Health Department that her husband had tested positive for the B.1.1.7 variant which was first identified in the U.K. late last year. She told local news station WBRC that she isn’t sure how her husband contracted the variant. 

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"My husband just went to work and home. Gas station here and there. Nothing like going out and having a good time — just a hardworking man," she said.

In a Facebook post announcing her husband’s death, Ashley Jackson called her husband of nearly eight years an "amazing dad." 

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"Lord this day has been hard," she began. "I wouldn’t wish this on anyone as I said goodbye to my amazing husband."

"I was reminded of the day I said I do and we promised to spend the rest of our lives together. Who knew that it would be 7 almost 8 [years] later that would say goodbye to you. Lord knows this is so hard for me," she said. "Our girls are going to truly miss you, you were an amazing dad and I will keep your memory alive through them and they will always remember you."