San Jose man lost 81-year-old mom to COVID-19, forced to say goodbye via FaceTime

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- "We're still trying to get our arms around the fact... She's gone," said Mike Carter, a San Jose-native who lost his mom to COVID-19 Monday night.

Carter and his wife Dee O'Moore struggled to find closure after saying goodbye to their 81-year-old mom, Pat.

"Thank God for the kind nurse that was taking care of Mom," Carter said. "She was able to get us on FaceTime so we could tell her that we love her."

RELATED: NYC nurse dies from coronavirus, family and co-workers say

Pat arrived in San Francisco from Panama on Feb. 28. Her condition was described as "lively" and "great" visiting with family and friends.

It wasn't until two weeks later, complications with allergies sent Pat to the emergency room.

"Her breathing started to become more rapid and her cough more pronounced," Carter said. "We did have the concern it was quite possibly COVID-19."

Carter's suspicion became true. The coronavirus diagnosis turned to bilateral pneumonia.

"It happened so quickly," said Carter, adding he didn't expect his parting words would be through FaceTime.

RELATED: 100-year-old letter found in Central California offers hope during COVID-19 outbreak

"I think the worst part of it, all the five days, was not being able to be there physically in that room with her," said Carter.

It's a sad reality for families like Carter and O'Moore who are coping with loss during these strange times.

"Families will be hurt and families will be broken and everybody needs to take this seriously," Carter said.

Pat's symptoms were mild at first, with seasonal allergies. It progressed to pneumonia within a week.

RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
Copyright © 2020 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.