Alabama woman raises 12 children after her sister dies from Covid-19

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When Chantale died in September from Covid-19, her sister, who was already raising seven children, did not hesitate to welcome Chantale’s five children to her home in Birmingham, Alabama.

“We have always said that we don’t want our children to be separated. We wanted our kids to stay together, ”McCall, 40, told CNN.

The 12 children are between 1 and 17 years old, and McCall, who is a single mother, said living together was a challenge.

“We have all the boys in one room and we have all the girls in the other two rooms, so everyone is kind of just on top of each other,” she says. “So we made the most of the situation. ”

McCall said Chantale McCall was fine when she was first hospitalized in Selma, where she lives, but her condition worsened and she was taken to a Birmingham hospital and put on a ventilator.

She died on September 16, and her husband, Rance Martin, died of the disease on October 25 – which would have been Chantale’s 35th birthday.

McCall said she, her mother and her children stayed with Chantale the weekend before she tested positive for Covid-19. Martin had been in and out of the hospital, but they didn’t know he had the virus until later.

The rest of the family tested negative for the coronavirus, despite their close contact, she said.

McCall said her sister worked for a home health agency and was always very careful.

“She took all the necessary precautions. She was wearing the mask, she kept her distance, she did the right hand washing and all the right things that she was supposed to do, ”McCall said.

McCall said the kids are holding on, but it’s been tough – especially with Christmas ahead.

“They are fine sometimes and sometimes they break down, so they spend their days and their moments,” she says. “It was very difficult to lose their friends, church family and everything they hold dear.

The kids are all practically in school right now and aren’t really eager to go to school in person because they don’t want to risk getting Covid-19 or passing it on to someone else. other.

McCall can work from home, for now, and her mother is staying with her to help.

“It’s a little chaotic sometimes trying to get everyone in line for school and feed them before they go to school,” she says. “Once you’ve lifted them and placed them, you’re fine. ”

Michigan couple married for 47 years die of coronavirus within a minute of each otherMichigan couple married for 47 years die of coronavirus within a minute of each other

She also receives a lot of help from the community and her church.

“She loves these children with all [her] heart, ”said Carla McDonald, who is with the church, in a letter. She is not the one asking anyone for help. She is just trying to raise 12 children and meet their daily needs not just for Christmas. ”

McDonald’s helped create a GoFundMe campaign that raised over $ 56,000 for the family and said church members were doing something else for them.

“I really, really appreciate him,” McCall said.

She said they were going to have a Christmas balloon in memory of Chantale.

“Our plan for Christmas is to celebrate my sister’s life and her legacy that she leaves behind,” McCall said.

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