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'She was my rock': Berea family shares story of losing a loved one to COVID-19

Posted at 7:09 PM, Oct 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-07 10:42:08-04

MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Tuesday was a day for one Madison County family to share laughs and memories.

"She would do anything for anybody," Keith Taylor said.

"She was my rock," Shelby Dezarn said. "One of my favorite people on this planet."

The subject of their endless love and praise was 68-year-old Donna Reed.

At the end of August, Taylor, Reed's son, said she was diagnosed with the coronavirus. She was in the hospital for about a week when doctors said she beat the virus.

However, when she got home, her condition quickly took a turn for the worse. Taylor said she was having trouble breathing and was transported back to the hospital via ambulance. She was in the hospital for about a month the second time around. She was on a ventilator for three of those weeks.

Meanwhile, no visitors were allowed.

"She fought this battle completely alone," Dezarn, Reed's granddaughter, said.

For her family, it was unbearable.

"The only time we were ever allowed to be in the room, any at all, was yesterday when she passed," Taylor said. "[It was the] hardest thing I ever had to do in my life."

On Monday, her family had to make the unimaginable decision to let her go. They were allowed inside her room, three at a time, to say goodbye.

"One of the last things she told me was, 'I love you, baby. I love you, baby,'" Taylor said. "She tried to beat it, but God had other plans, and she's a good mom."

Taylor, known as the UK beat reporter for Kentucky Today, is pleading with Kentuckians not to take the virus lightly. Because for him and his family, it couldn't be more serious.