A Spokane woman lost her husband of 16 years to COVID. Now, she’s urging others to get vaccinated.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Vibrant, a selfie king, a husband and a father, all things that described Carlos Matthews.

However, he was one of more than 700 people who lost their lives to COVID-19. He was only 43 years old.

His wife, Stefanie Matthews, says she is still trying to take it day by day.

“He was a family man, he loved his kids, he loved me, he loved life, everybody and knowing he was there alone was probably the hardest part,” she said.

Carlos went to Holy Family Hospital on April 28 with a cough and never came home. The last time Stefanie heard his voice was just before doctors put him on a ventilator.

“He just wanted to say, ‘Tell the kids that he loves them,'” she said. “And at that time when we had a lot more hope, and you know it was, we’re going to see you soon. This is going to be okay, and we’ll be there when you wake up.”

At that point, she still thought he’d come home.

Carlos would’ve been vaccinated but only a week or two before he passed, vaccines had just become available to the general public.

“I know if we’re able to talk to him, my husband would have done anything he could to make sure no one else was in the position he was in,” she said.

Stefanie was able to say goodbye to her husband of 16 years.

“We still had the rest of my son’s… We had the rest of his basketball games. We had his graduation, and all of this stuff was still really fresh, so it was really painful,” she said.

Stefanie says because of Carlos, many of his friends and members of their motorcycle club got vaccinated.

“If there’s anything you can possibly do to not get this virus, you should do it. And you should trust the doctors, we shouldn’t be doing our own research to figure it out,” she said.

RELATED; Providence Sacred Heart asks staff to shift job duties to help with COVID mission

RELATED: Six kids receiving critical care for COVID-19 at Providence in Spokane

RELATED: Vaccine Information HQ