Their Mom Died Of The Coronavirus. They Had To Say Goodbye Via Walkie-Talkie.
As reports about the coronavirus’s spread continue, we’ve seen quite a few stories about the celebrities and politicians affected by it. Last week it was Idris Alba, this week the spotlight is on CNN anchor Chris Cuomo who announced that he had contracted the virus and is now in self-isolation in his own home. But the virus is affecting more than just the big names we see on TV and movie screens.
Sundee Rutter a single mother of six and breast cancer survivor, died on March 16 as a result of COVID-19.
According to Buzzfeed, she was 42 years old and ” was recovering from a yearlong bout with breast cancer when she was diagnosed with COVID-19. During her cancer treatments, she was able to have her family and friends by her side, but with the coronavirus, Rutter’s family could only communicate with her from outside her hospital room.”
Rutter said goodbye to her children using a walkie-talkie and looking into her hospital room through a glass window.
“I told her I love her … she shouldn’t worry about the kids,” Ross-Rutter, her fourth-oldest child said in an interview with BuzzFeed News.
Ross told Buzzfeed that he initially had been allowed to visit her while wearing face mask, but she was eventually completely isolated by the hospital. Ross-Rutter said his mother went to Providence Regional Medical Center in Washington, the hospital in which the first known US COVID-19 case had been treated — on March 3. Ultimately after spending eight hours in a sealed room, and being seen by hospital staff in full protective gear, the mother and son were sent home.
“She thought she had the flu, probably,” Ross-Rutter explained. “But like, the coronavirus? It was kind of hard for us to understand how she could get it because not that many people had it around here.”
At the time of Rutter’s first hospital visit, only 27 reported cases and nine deaths had occurred in Washington state.
Today there are 4,300 reported cases and 195 deaths in Washington.
According to Buzzfeed, “People across the country showed their support for Rutter and her children with donations of more than $275,000. The oldest child, Tyree Rutter, 24, plans to use the money to secure housing for him and his younger siblings as he completes his last year at Central Washington University.”
“Like it’s crazy how much love and support we’ve been receiving from the community,” Ross-Rutter told Buzzfeed. “It kind of goes to show how big of an impact my mom had on our community.”
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