Just days ago, Regina Suddoth lost her mother to COVID-19, and now both of her brothers are in the hospital too.
Regina said her 75-year-old mother, Alicestine Suddoth, felt most at home at the Garfield Park Conservatory. The tall grass rustling in the wind and bright, clear blue skies gave her an escape from the urban city landscape.
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"I'm really hurt about the way that she had to pass because I don't think that if she hadn't been exposed to the virus that she would still be here," Regina said.
On Tuesday, just four days before her 76th birthday, Alicestine died from COVID-19.
"I called my mother's front desk security and asked if someone would do a well-being check, and he opened the door and she was laying on the floor," Regina said.
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Regina said she is doing her best to stay strong, not just because of her mother's death, but because her two brothers are suffering from the virus as well. One is on a ventilator.
"His name is Randy and he got to the hospital just in time because he was having trouble breathing," Regina said. "Twenty minutes and they had to put him on the ventilator."
Coronavirus hospitalizations in Illinois continue their climb to unprecedented heights. As of Thursday night, 5,362 COVID-19 patients were reported in Illinois hospital beds. That number is up more than 100 from the day before, according to health officials.
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"It's just so unfortunate," Regina said.
Regina celebrated her 56th birthday Friday as a breast cancer survivor celebrating another year of life. But as she celebrates, she mourns her mother and fears for her brothers.
"People in the public need to take this pandemic serious, because people are dying every day," she said.