Family carries on Minot man’s dying wish of advising importance of COVID-19 vaccinations

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 5:20 PM CDT
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MINOT, N.D. – The family of a Minot man who died from COVID-19 is doing their part to share his story.

Rob Tersteeg passed away in early June following a battle with the virus.

His family said his last wish was to share his story and educate the public on the importance of getting vaccinated.

Amy Tersteeg works at Trinity Health and even helped with protective policies around masking, testing and vaccines. While she got vaccinated early, her husband Rob chose not to receive it.

“He wasn’t against the vaccine, but he kind of didn’t believe that COVID could take him down,” said Amy.

Rob was not alone.

Lacey McNichols, the vaccine coordinator with First District Health Unit, said immunization against COVID-19 in North Dakota is lower than the national average, and vaccine rates in the western part of the state are even lower.

“Even though COVID infection rates aren’t as high as they were before, we are going the wrong way, in the wrong direction that we want them to. That mixed with the combination of not high vaccination rates, we are getting a little bit concerned,” said McNichols.

In May, after only one night in the hospital, Rob asked his wife to get his kids vaccinated.

He later lost his battle with COVID-19 on June 3.

His wife said he asked her to share his story so that people are aware of the seriousness of the virus.

“That’s been a comfort to me to know that I’m able to carry out one of the things that he wanted to share with the world,” said Amy.

Amy also said she is grateful to the Trinity Health and University of Minnesota Hospital staff for caring for her husband until the end.

Rob Tersteeg was 46.

He leaves behind his wife Amy and three children.

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