Birmingham, AL — Francesca McCall, a single mother of seven, is now raising 12 children after her sister and her sister’s husband both died from COVID-19, leaving behind their 5 children. She immediately took responsibility to take care of their kids.
“We always said that we didn’t want our kids to be separated. We wanted our kids to stay together,” McCall told CNN, noting that she and her younger sister Chantale promised to take care of each other’s kids if ever something happens to either of them.
Since then, it has been a challenge taking care of all 12 children, ages 1 to 17. She said they were all living together in their home all the boys are staying in one room and the girls taking up two rooms.
McCall said her sister, their mother, and their children were staying together before her sister tested positive for COVID-19. They thought she was getting well after being hospitalized but her condition eventually got worse.
Chantale died on September 16 and her husband, Rance Martin, died on October 25, also from COVID-19. The rest of the family tested negative for the virus despite their close contact.
McCall said her sister worked for a home health agency and “did all the proper precautions. She wore the mask, she kept her distance, she did the proper handwashing and all the proper things she was supposed to do.”
The kids have now been attending school virtually while McCall is working from home. They were all cautious of going out since they don’t want to risk getting COVID-19.
Moreover, a GoFundMe which McCall set up with the help of her church mate, Carla McDonald, has now raised over $180,000. The donations will help support the children and their everyday needs.
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