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Fannin County woman urges people to get vaccinated after losing brother to Delta variant

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 10:51 PM CDT
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LEONARD, Texas (KXII) - A Fannin County woman has COVID-19 and says the Delta variant is destroying her family.

After losing her youngest brother to coronavirus, 37-year-old Abigail Rich of Leonard is worried for her other siblings, mother and her own declining health.

Rich is quarantined at home with her mother, breathing with a nasal tube and monitoring her oxygen levels. She says she tested positive for COVID-19 with her two brothers in late August and all three were admitted to ICU.

“It’s a nightmare. It won’t end, it’ll never end,” Rich said.

In late August, Rich says her youngest brother, Brian, began feeling sick with what they thought was the flu. When she took him to the hospital, she says she wasn’t prepared for what was to come.

“It came on quick. Brian got it, they admitted him. Michael (sibling) got it, they admitted him. I got it within days and my mama got it. They tried to admit her too but she said I can’t, because of my little sister,” said Rich.

Rich, and her two brothers tested positive for the Delta variant of COVID-19 on August 24th.

After nearly 2 weeks in ICU her youngest brother, Brian, died on September 7th, days before his 22nd birthday.

He was 200th on a waiting list for an ECMO treatment that Rich says could have saved his life. Now, her second brother’s condition is getting worse.

“It’s a real situation, and this family they are all they have. It’s just the 5 of them. Now that Brian’s gone, and they don’t know what will happen to Michael,” said family friend Crickett Killingsworth.

The family says they tried multiple times to get the COVID-19 vaccine but were unsuccessful, due to scheduling conflicts.

“We tried! And now Brian’s gone, and I don’t want to lose Michael too. I just can’t,” Rich said.

Rich is still suffering from the virus but checked herself out of the hospital on oxygen therapy, so she can help care for her mother. She too has COVID-19.

“Go get the shot. Don’t let this destroy your family,” Rich said. “This is all I have, and now my baby brother is gone.”

If either of their conditions worsen, both will have to return to the hospital, leaving the youngest sibling, Amelia, a senior in high school alone.

“I think when we put things into human context, when we step back and say ‘I didn’t think it would be me’ or ‘I never thought I’d be the reason someone lost a family member’ it kind of takes away all the other pressure. Most people really do want to do the right thing, and when you listen to your heart, you’ll know what to do,” said Killingsworth.

Click here for the Rich family’s GoFundMe page.

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