It isn't just the elderly who are at high risk.
There are more than 10,000 cases of coronavirus in the US, and about 150 people have died to date, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. While the death toll seems relatively lower in comparison to other countries, these individuals aren't just stats. They were humans with real lives and families and friends like the rest of us. Among those who died is a mother who fell into the high-risk category since she had beaten cancer only last year.
A single mom, Sundee Rutter, from Washington state, who had six children fought bravely against stage four breast cancer the past year, and she survived it. However, the 42 year old succumbed to coronavirus on March 16. Her six children are aged 24, 21, 20, 15, 14 and 13. Three of them are in college and three are in high and middle school, according to KMOV4. Sundee had lost her husband many years ago, and since then, she has been working hard to take care of her children singlehandedly. Even during her cancer treatment, she continued to work at her job at Ross Dress for Less as she was the sole provider for her children, according to a GoFundMe page for the Rutter kids.
The kids, who are now orphaned, are a vulnerable place as the tragedy that's struck them is huge and unimaginable.
They recall how their mother had gone to the hospital after falling sick but was sent back home. A couple of days later, she developed a fever and had trouble breathing, so she was taken back to the hospital and admitted there. She fought for her life for a week before passing away.
One can only imagine the impact the news would have left on the kids. Fortunately, the community has come together to help the children. Carrie Frederickson, who helped the family organize a fundraiser, has set up a GoFundMe page on behalf of the eldest child, Tyree. The family will need housing until Tyree graduates from college in June. Tyree has taken up the responsibility of raising his younger siblings. The family would also need help with other essentials in the coming months, while they cope with the loss. They are still looking into the funeral arrangements and also looking to have a Celebration of Life for Sundee in the future.
"She was a wonderful person, and there’s not many like her out there anymore. Great friend, great mother, great wife, she was a wonderful person," said Jessica Harris, Sundee's best friend, to KOMO. "We’re pretty devastated, she beat cancer and lost the battle to Coronavirus? It’s just crazy."
“I just want people to really know it’s not just the elderly people [affected by coronavirus], it’s anyone and everyone who have compromised immune systems that are at risk,” Jessica told KOMO.
Sundee's daughter, Alexis, also shared a heartfelt message on their GoFundMe page about their mom. "For those of you who know or have ever crossed paths with our mother, Sundee, it was likely made clear to you immediately how genuine, selfless, courageous, hard-working, and caring this woman is. She is always the first to lend a helping hand to those in need and has consistently remained positive and resilient through the many curve balls life has thrown her way," she said in an emotional note.
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