It was only last month that Michelle Taylor and her family were together celebrating her mother Dee’s 85th birthday. Now, Taylor is grieving their deaths.
Merle and Dee Tofte died within hours of each other due to COVID-19.
Two weeks after the family celebrated Dee’s birthday, the couple found themselves fighting for their lives. They experienced shortness of breath, cough, and a fever and their symptoms eventually landed them in the hospital.
But despite doctors’ and nurses’ best efforts, they both died.
With many hospitals around the world taking extra precaution to stop the spread of the coronavirus, Taylor and her family weren’t allowed to visit Merle and Dee during their final hours. However, she told KATU that staff at Peacehealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver, Washington, arranged something special so they could say goodbye.
“They did something I will be forever grateful for,” she said. “They set up a FaceTime call with my parents, each in a different room, with a chaplain with their grandchildren and children so we could all say goodbye to them. We will all be forever grateful for that.”
Sadly, no one was allowed to attend their burial and Taylor had to go into quarantine, which prevented her from properly grieving her parents death with her family.
“I understand it, I do, because everyone has to make sacrifices right now. But this is a huge one for us. But it’s okay, it’s the right thing to do. We will have a celebration of life later.”
In a post on Facebook, she said while she’d rather grieve in private, her hope is that someone will see her family’s story and perhaps it will save a life.
This is absolutely heartbreaking. My prayers are with this family. We must continue to practice social distancing and stay at home. That is the main way we can stop the spread.
Share Merle and Dee’s story, it needs to be heard.