‘We are losing people we love’: Alabama daughter urges COVID-19 precautions after mother’s death

Local News

PELL CITY, Ala. (WIAT) — A St. Clair County daughter is opening up about losing her mother to COVID-19 in hopes that others will take precautions against the virus.

72-year-old Pam Daniel died last week after battling coronavirus at St. Vincent’s St. Clair Hospital for 22 days. She was on a ventilator for 6 of those days.

“I went through her little purse when we left the hospital and it was full of three different kinds of hand sanitizer and wipes. She was the most cautious person. She did everything right,” said Daniel’s daughter, Tara Buchanan.

Buchanan said doctors did everything they could for her mother. She was treated with Remdesivir, convalescent plasma, and a steroid, but was not able to pull through.

“I’m going to miss her sweet smile and I am going to miss her hugs. For 49 years she’s been my best friend,” said Buchanan.

The family is so close that Buchanan and her mother built homes next to each other on Logan Martin Lake.

Daniel and her husband would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary next September. She also leaves behind her daughter and grandchildren.

“We had so much more to do. My daughter was 17 and she and my mother and I had always talked about the day that we would go pick out wedding dresses together,” said Buchanan.

According to loved ones, Daniel was admitted to the hospital in late November. All other family members also got sick, but eventually recovered.

Buchanan recalled an emotional conversation with her mother at the hospital about people not wearing masks around others in public.

“She was like, ‘Why don’t people care enough a bout other people to protect them? And she said all she could think is that they just don’t understand. They don’t understand what it is like to be there and want to breathe and gasp for breath and not be able to breathe. They don’t understand what it is like to cry and tell the doctor that they don’t want to die, they want to live for their family,” said Buchanan.

Vaccines may not be available to the public until the spring or summer. Doctors continue to warn neighbors not to get complacent. It’s a message the family takes to heart.

“I don’t want anybody else to suffer this, once you get it, you just do not know how it is going to affect you. There’s asymptomatic people. Don’t be reckless. It’s moms and it’s grandmas, and it’s wives, and it’s sisters, and husbands and dad’s and it is family members. And we cannot get that time back with them,” said Buchanan.

Family members said Daniel was strong in her faith and they know she is in a better place. The loss is still hard on those left behind. It’s a pain the family doesn’t wish on anyone.

“Tell your family that you love them. Give everybody a hug, because you just never know when the day is going to come that you are going to want that hug so badly and you are just not going to be able to have it,” said Buchanan.

Loved ones shared Daniels’ health updates through a Facebook group called ‘praying for Pam.’ Funeral services were held this week at CrossPoint Church.

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