An Alabama woman is now a single mother raising a dozen children under one roof after her sister and brother-in-law died of COVID-19 within one month of each other.
Francesca McCall, 40, of Birmingham, is currently taking care of her sister’s five kids — who range in age from 2 to 17 — in addition to her own seven children, AL.com reported.
“We always used to have discussions like, ‘if anything happened to any of us,’ we knew that we wouldn’t want our children to be separated,” she told the outlet.
Her younger sister, Chantale McCall, 35, was working in healthcare when she became infected with the virus.
“She was in the healthcare field and she did all the precautions,” Francesca told news station WSFA.
“She wore the mask. She wore the gloves. She was very very careful, so we have no idea how she came into contact.”
Chantale began to experience trouble breathing and was airlifted to UAB Hospital, where she died in September from complications related to the virus, AL.com reported.
“Doctors called us in to say our last goodbyes and I told her she didn’t have to worry,” Francesca told WSFA.
“I was going to make sure that I took care of her kids. I know that is what she would do for me.”
Chantale’s husband, Lance Martin, 40, also became sick and died a month later at the same hospital from COVID-19, the outlet reported.
Francesca said the couple’s kids are now grappling with the grief of losing parents in addition to anxieties about leaving the house and catching the virus, AL.com reported.
“We’re doing OK. They have their [tough] moments at times, processing everything,” she told the outlet.