Daughter of East Texas woman who died from COVID-19 urges public to wear masks

Daughter of East Texas woman who died from COVID-19 urges public to wear masks
Bretta Nerren (Source: KTRE)

LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - The daughter of an East Texas woman is urging people to continue wearing masks and stay diligent when following the CDC’s safety guidelines.

“She just was very combative, very just out of it,” is how the daughter of 50-year-old Bretta Nerren described her last phone call with her mother.

A little more than a week after Lesli Crow’s mother began showing symptoms of COVID-19, she died.

“I got a little relaxed and I started doing things more but I wasn’t wearing a mask,” Crow said. “Then my mom died and I think that was a big slap in the face of, it’s real. This can take somebody super quick.”

Crow says while wearing masks may feel like an inconvenience, there are more difficult consequences.

“One of the biggest things I can tell people is, it’s easier to wear a mask then to have to go through your deceased loved one’s items,” she said. “And I didn’t even get to get everything, a lot of her stuff had to be tossed.”

Through her experience, Crow feels compelled to let people know that this virus is real and it’s not over.

“Kids are going to get ready to go back to school here in a month and that’s going to be another hit. And I think that if we don’t take precautions now, it’s not going to get any better,” Crow said. “So wear your masks, and do your part, for sure.”

And what was normal before the pandemic is no more; their family has seen and felt the impact.

“When I visited her in the funeral home I had to wear a mask, I couldn’t touch her. She had on a mask. Her things, I couldn’t even get her things because I was told that the virus needed to die,” Crow said.

The family sought guidance from the Angelina County and Cities Health District on the steps they’d need to take to eventually get her mother’s items.

“Her things were put in a trash bag, in a plastic tote and set on the porch outside of where she lived. So I didn’t get to see the room where she was at, I didn’t get to really go through and pick anything,” Crow said.

Nerren’s family did say she had a history of diabetes and had a pacemaker.

Lufkin’s Director of Public Safety said, “If you believe you have COVID-19 or have been diagnosed and experience difficulty breathing, please seek medical attention immediately.”

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