82-year-old Texas grandmother dies just 4 days after accomplishing lifelong goal of casting her first vote
Phillips, who was transitioning to hospice care when she joined 4.8 million Texans who chose to vote early in the midterm election, had been battling pneumonia for months.
An 82-year-old grandmother from Texas died just four days after voting for the first time in her life last week, accomplishing a lifelong goal.
According to NBC 5, Gracie Lou Phillips died on Monday while she was transitioning to hospice care at her home in Grand Prairie. She reportedly died in her sleep after battling pneumonia for months, People reports.
Phillips was determined to participate in the 2018 midterm elections despite her recent health setback. In a conversation with NBC 5, granddaughter Michelle Phillips said: “She finally registered to vote for the first time in her life. She kept telling everybody ‘I’m voting. I’m going to vote this year and my vote counts.'"
Gracie Lou Phillips cast her first vote before passing away.— Red T Raccoon #WaveCast (@RedTRaccoon) November 6, 2018
This is beautiful.
I love her reaction as she gazes at the sticker, "I voted today."
Please appreciate the rights you have and use it today.
Vote.#WaveCast #WaveCastTX pic.twitter.com/ydS8hrkLRb
She also revealed to the outlet that Phillips brought her portable oxygen tank with her for the big day. “Poll people were very kind. They met her out at her car,” she said.
“To have someone literally need oxygen to breathe, pure tank of oxygen to breathe, put it in her car and ask to go on what may very well be the last week of her life, that shows the dedication and priority that people need to look at,” Michelle added.
Phillips, who voted early under an electoral provision, can be seen beaming with excitement in a video taken after she cast her first ballot, proudly holding her “I Voted Today” sticker. She can be heard saying "I voted today" at the end of the footage. Speaking with Time, Leslie Moore, Phillips' other granddaughter, asserted that she always valued voting. “She thinks that everybody has a voice and their political opinions should be heard,” Moore said.
Phillips got married at the tender age of 15 years old and had seven children with her husband. According to Time, her lifelong partner, who passed away 11 years ago, feared that if his wife registered to vote, they would be forced to serve jury duty. His concerns were warranted at the time, considering the couple couldn't afford to miss work as they had to take care of their children. And so, voting didn't seem like a financially smart decision.
Speaking to The Washington Post, Phillips' son in law Jeff Griffith revealed that her health took a turn for the worse the morning after she voted. She was unable to get out of her bed or drink her morning coffee, he said. “She said, ‘At least I voted,'” Griffith told the outlet. “It was one of the last coherent things she said to us. She was very happy. She kept saying she finally got to vote."