Bethany Ferguson Family photo

Seth Lyons saw his mother for the last time in the intensive care unit at Maine Medical Center in Portland on Oct. 21.

Bethany Ferguson was on a ventilator in a losing fight against COVID-19. Seth, 14, asked his grandmother for a few minutes alone with his mom.

“I told my mom that I forgave her,” Seth said on Tuesday. “I told her I love her. I told her I would make her proud. We used to talk about life. She knew I wanted to join the Army or the Marines or be a game warden. She would be proud with anything I decide to do.”

Ferguson died shortly after Seth talked to her on Oct. 21 from complications of COVID-19. She was 33.

Ferguson, of Lyman, was not vaccinated, her family said. As of Thursday, the state had reported 1,160 deaths  from COVID-19 in Maine. Ferguson is one of six Mainers to die in their 30s.

She was remembered this week as a fun and compassionate person who loved her family.

Ferguson was the daughter of Patricia Carson of Old Orchard Beach and Thane Ferguson of Howland. She spent her early years in Howland before moving to Saco with her mother and siblings. She graduated from Saco Middle School, then attended Saco Transition Program School but didn’t receive her GED.

In 2007, she gave birth to her son, Seth Lyons, who lives with Carson.

Bethany Ferguson

Ferguson worked for U.S. Cellular in Sanford when Seth was young. Carson said she excelled at her job and was considered one of their best employees.

“She was doing amazing,” Carson said. “She was a good mom.”

Carson spoke openly about her daughter’s years-long struggle with substance use disorder. She said the disease has gripped her family.

In 2012, Carson’s son Brad Ferguson died from injuries he sustained in a motor vehicle accident. He was 30 and also struggled with substance misuse, Carson said. Ferguson took her brother’s death especially hard. Lyons said she blamed herself and turned to alcohol.

“She wasn’t all bad,” her son said. “It was the alcohol that took over.”

Seth remembered the fun times he had with his mom.

“I’ll miss having her as my mom,” Seth said. “I’ll miss hunting and doing burnouts in the driveway. I’ll miss having fires and jamming out to music on the front porch when she was sad about uncle Brad.”

Carson reminisced about the years when Seth was a baby and she would visit them.

“To see her with Seth … she loved him so much,” Carson said. “We used to take him apple picking and make him healthy foods. I’ll miss the regular-life stuff you get to enjoy with your kids until addiction gets ahold of them.”

Ferguson tested positive for COVID-19 and was admitted to Maine Medical Center. She was on a ventilator for two and a half weeks. Carson said as she fought COVID, her kidneys stopped working and her liver started to fail.

“Our hearts are broken to lose her, but Bethany is finally at peace and no longer suffering,” said Carson, who chronicled her daughter’s fight against COVID on Facebook. “There has been such an outpouring of love and I won’t be able to find the words right now. … A bit more of grief and sadness is settling in every day. It’s a long process.

“I remind myself where my hope lies, and our sweet Bethany is no longer suffering but rejoicing. Thank you for your continued love that helps carry us through.”

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