Tina and Geoff Lambert

Tina Guicciardini Lambert is from Waterbury, Connecticut, and now lives outside of Chicago. Tina grew up in North Canaan, CT before moving to Waterbury where she graduated from Crosby High School in 1991, and Sacred Heart University in 1995. Tina reached out to The Waterbury Observer to share the devastating story of how she recently lost her husband.

“Getting a COVID vaccine if you are immunocompromised is no guarantee it will save your life. Let me tell you about my husband, Geoff Lambert’s, experience.

Geoff Lambert and his son, William.

His overactive immune system – as a result of severe Rheumatoid Arthritis since he was 18 – is what saved him in his fight with COVID (he spent 16 days in isolation ICU at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Height, Illinois). His overactive immune system is also what killed him in the aftermath of the COVID-19 Delta variant. After beating the virus, he was faced with Pulmonary Fibrosis/ARDS, covid-bacterial pneumonia, and a mystery fungal/mold (I believe it was black mold) growing in his lungs that he actually brought into the hospital (it’s found in soil, we all have a little in our mouths).

Geoff told me during his hospital stay that he wasn’t going to “let this little shit of a virus be the cause of my death. It would just be too embarrassing to be taken out by that after all I fought my whole life.” And boy did he fight. Geoff didn’t die from the Delta variant, as he kicked it’s ass good with the help of Remdesevir, Dexamethasone, and a blood thinner for potential clots. Actemra was also used investigationally when he coded a few times, but the jury is still out on that one since it’s an immunosuppressant used for Rheumatoid Arthritis that Geoff actually used to be on.

As a result of being off his immunosuppressants however, his immune system went into overdrive creating antigens/proteins which clogged his kidneys, so he was put on dialysis. Some medications used to treat his infections were also known to cause DILIs (Drug Induced Liver Toxicities). One was Amphotericin B. We had to make a joint decision three days prior to his death to intubate and put him on a ventilator. He fought hard not to be on one and was on 100% oxygen through mouth and nose. He told me before going to the ER that he was not going to go on a ventilator because it will kill him. He’s always been very intuitive predicting so many things in his life, and ours.

Last to go was his blood pressure, and then his heart while on life support.

Please do all the research you can if you are immunosuppressed, talk to your medical provider/doctor. It could save your life, but only if you are wearing an N95 or KN95 mask correctly on top of these efforts, especially inside, and most definitely social distancing in public places while outside, preferably with your mask. This is my advice to you if you want to save your life and the lives of your loved ones.

My husband, up until his death, always made fun of “my wall of words”, other friends also did, referencing them as “manifestos”. Raising awareness is how I am grieving, and I’m certain Geoff is angry and is pushing me now to do so, so his life wasn’t lost in vain.

I had the same Pfizer vaccine Geoff did and survived both the Alpha and the Delta variants (you can get more than one variant, that’s been observed, though it’s rare). I have no other underlying conditions except for chronic bronchitis. Had I not listen to Geoff and gotten vaccinated in May (he literally set up my appointment without me knowing and then drove me there), I would be dead too, leaving our son William without parents.

Do the math and decide for yourselves what path you want to take in life. I am a trusted source working in Pharma at Premier Research in Risk Management monitoring for exactly these situations. Sure we are the patient population in this clinical study, most of us for the first time in our lives, but that’s small potatoes compared to becoming a widow out of the blue with a little kid. I would sacrifice my so called freedom if I knew it could save me, or a loved one, or even a stranger, even my enemy. This ends my soap box rant. I am done………..for now. Thank you for listening and allowing me to vent. It is actually cathartic and is helping me grieve…

Please share this to save anyone you know, or that your friends know, with an Autoimmune Disease.”

The response on Facebook to Tina’s post was loving and supportive. It has been seen by 11,000 people in the first 24 hours and shared 65 times with hundreds of supportive reactions.

Bnnie Orintas wrote, “You are such a woman of courage to go through this great loss and still take the time to speak out to help others. May God bless you and in some way, grant you peace. He is still there with you. Only his body left.

Linda Cipriano wrote, “Tina I’m your former neighbor, I’m so very sorry for your loss. My heart breaks for you and your son.

Kelly Quinn wrote, “I’m so sorry for this loss. I know of a local woman who also died from Covid after being fully vaxxed. She also had an autoimmune disease. I think that in her case, she never made the necessary antibodies.I agree with this widow— if you’re immune compromised, wear an N-95 indoors.