Woman’s entire SC family gets COVID-19 after Christmas gathering

Woman’s entire SC family gets COVID-19 after Christmas gathering
Kathi Shepherd says her 86-year-old father, Cecil, who has been hospitalized in Columbia, is now her greatest concern as several members of her family battle COVID-19. (Source: WLTX/CBS News)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WLTX/CBS News) - A South Carolina woman says her entire family is battling COVID-19 after they gathered for Christmas.

Kathi Shepherd said she and her 20-year-old daughter decided not to attend family Christmas this year because of the pandemic.

“Not only my father but my ex-husband, my twin sister, my older sister and my brother-in-law, they were all together on Christmas day and within 24 to 48 hours after Christmas Day, they ultimately tested positive for COVID,” she said.

Shepherd is a breast cancer survivor who has been dedicated to quarantining during the pandemic because of her health complications.

Her 86-year-old father, Cecil, is now her greatest concern. He has been put on oxygen at a Columbia hospital, she says.

“He’s had a fever on and off, a cough on and off, terrible body aches, terrible appetite,” she said. “When I talk to him, he’s gasping for breath to talk to me and then he’s asking me to come see him and come hold his hand and I can’t do that.”

Shepherd says this is not the way 2021 was supposed to start for her family.

“2021 was supposed to be the year that COVID went away, that COVID was going to be defeated, that we were going to have a vaccine,” she said. “Things were going to get better and to be honest in the first four days things are ten times worse than they were in 2020.”

Her plea now is for everyone to do their part.

“I’m just urging people to please stay home, please wear a mask. And not only for my family but for all the health care workers out there that are risking their lives for our family members and our loved ones, our neighbors,” she said.

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