Updated: August 03, 2020 06:09 PM
Created: August 03, 2020 05:49 PM
A Maple Grove family says they have been devastated by COVID-19 after several family members came down with serious cases of the virus.
"It's literally the worst thing that's ever happened to me in my whole life," Jessica Bullock said.
Her mother, Shirley Bullock, was the first to contract the virus in May. She died a few days later.
Jessica Bullock said her mother was a healthy 74-year-old, living with her husband of 53 years at an assisted living facility. The family was alerted to a case of COVID-19 at the facility and Shirley became sick later that week.
"I didn't even recognize her voice. She sounded so awful. And of course, I was terrified instantly," Bullock said.
She said her mother's oxygen levels dipped to dangerous levels and she was rushed to the hospital.
"They called from the ICU and said they weren't sure she was going to make it through the night and we should come to see her now," Bullock said. "I told her that if she could fight to please fight, but if it was too hard, she could let go."
Shirley Bullock died within 48 hours of being admitted to the hospital.
"The day after my mom passed, we got my dad's results and he was positive for COVID," Bullock said.
She said her father was also hospitalized for about a week but survived.
While grieving her mother and caring for her father, Jessica Bullock also tested positive.
"It is a living nightmare, absolutely, that I can't wake up from," Bullock said. "People don't understand the long-term effects it can have on your body."
Bullock said she still has not fully recovered, nearly three months after contracting the virus. She said she struggles to breathe, is extremely fatigued, gets rashes all over her body and is having issues with her liver.
"It seems to be there's some damage with my organs that I can only conclude would be from COVID," Bullock said.
Bullock said she wants people to know how the virus has impacted her family so others can make decisions that will keep their own loved ones safe. She said she never expected to lose her mother to COVID-19.
"I don't know how she died so quickly," Bullock said. "I still suffer with the fact that I couldn't save her, that I couldn't have kept her safe and she did die from this."
Bullock describes her mother as loving, generous and full of life. She said Shirley Bullock was a counselor who, throughout her life, helped hundreds of people who were adopted find their birth parents.
She said her mother dreamed of watching her granddaughter graduate high school but died one month before the graduation happened.
"That's what I think people don't understand either. I see so many people say, 'Well I'm not afraid of the virus. I'll beat the virus,'" Bullock said. "But you should take this seriously. This is real. People are really dying."
Copyright 2020 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company