A North Texas family is pleading for people to take COVID-19 seriously after a Dallas mother and her daughter died of the virus just hours apart.
Sherry Tutt is mourning the loss of her mother and only sister.
It’s been nearly a month and it is still hard for Sherry Tutt to find the words.
“I’m numb,” she said. “I’m still in shock about it.”
Tutt was nearly in tears as she tries to talk about her mother, Doris Sims.
“My mom was great,” she said. “My mom was my best friend.”
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Doris Sims was a beloved, longtime cafeteria worker at the Frank Crowley Courthouse in Dallas.
“She was an amazing woman and I appreciate all the people that adored her,” she said. “I didn’t even realize how many people I shared her with.”
Lakecial Tutt, known as Keshia, had two sons and was one of a kind.
“Keshia was my older sister, my only sister,” said Tutt. “She was the fun girl. She was the life of the party for our family.”
It is unknown how Sims and Tutt contracted Coronavirus, but at least six other family members contracted the virus too.
Tutt says they had been cautious but came together for Mother's Day.
Mother and daughter each spent several weeks in separate hospitals.
Both passed on June 9; first Keisha, who turned 44 the day before.
“My mother’s hospital called me about 9:30 and told me she wouldn’t make it today either. They made her comfortable and she passed rather quickly at 2:12 p.m.”
Colleagues at the courthouse remembered Mrs. Doris as someone who treated everyone with respect: from judges to defendants.
“She always had a big smile on her face,” said LaFayne McCall who works at the courthouse. “She was always nice and kind to you and when you left the cafeteria your day was instantly better because you saw Doris and she made you smile even on your toughest days.”
This mother and daughter are among 401 people who have died of COVID-19 in Dallas County.
Tutt now wishes everyone could see what she saw in those final days in Medical City Dallas’ COVID-unit.
“To see the doctors and nurses have to gear up in the PPE’s to go in to care for them, it was like a reality check,” said Tutt. “All you could see are patients laying there on ventilators…I have pictures of my mom, her last breath and walking in and seeing her stomach-down. It’s visuals I will never forget.”
Tutt is pleading for the public to take COVID-19 seriously and said her pain is made worse by the rising number of cases in Dallas County.
“It breaks my heart,” she said. “It brings tears to my eyes to see it because I know that so many people are not realizing how deadly the virus is.”