She was called by the hospital to rush there to say her last goodbye to both her husband and son.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on April 24, 2020. It has since been updated.
People across the world are rallying together to support each other in this time of a global health crisis. Many are helping each other by paying their bills for groceries or other essential items, and other acts of kindness. Families are checking up on each other more often while in lockdown than earlier. People have buckled up and put on their bravest, strongest, and kindest face forward when it seems like the world as we know it is changing. However, there are people who are losing so much because of this disease that they are left without any words to express their pain.
One woman found herself completely alone overnight after losing her entire family to the deadly virus in less than five days. "Medical science says I should be traumatized. I had a traumatic experience twice. I should be banging my head against the wall. But God said no. I'm standing here in the strength of the lord, not strength of my own. God has got me," Sandy Brown told The Detroit News.
"There is not even a word in the vocabulary that can describe my pain," said she to NBC25.
Her ordeal began mid-March when her husband, Freddie Brown Jr., 59, experienced some symptoms common for the virus. He had a kidney transplant in 2012 making him more vulnerable. Concerned about his condition, Sandy took him to a local hospital, but they were sent home. He did not meet the Centers for Disease Control’s testing criteria. Eventually, his health condition got worse and he was rushed to the hospital. "He was so cold he was chilled to the bone and nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, couldn’t even keep sips of water down," said Sandy.
He was placed on a ventilator in a medically induced coma on March 22, The Detroit News reported. Before being placed on the ventilator, he tried to calm his wife of 35 years. "Calm down," he told her on the phone. "I’ll be fine. It will just be a few days." That was the last time they spoke.
On March 25, his lungs collapsed and Sandy received a call from Ascension Genesys Hospital in Grand Blanc Township to hurry there as her "Honey" was dying. By the time she reached, he had died. Since he died of a really contagious disease, she was told that she won't be able to see him. "I’m going in that room," she told them. "I don’t care what I have to do. I’ll sign whatever I need to sign.”
Covered in protective gear, she went to say her last goodbye. But, that wasn't the end of her suffering. One day after Freddie Jr. died, her son, Freddie III, who was asthmatic, started showing symptoms. He had a fever initially and then he started coughing. At night, he experienced difficulty in breathing. "I went into the room and he was panting like a dog that same sound I heard coming from my husband. I said sonny sonny wake up he said what is it and he was just wet with sweat," she told NBC25.
Sandy took him to the hospital and he felt better the next day. His cousin had also been in the hospital due to the same reason and they had been texting each other about how they're getting better. The ecstatic mom shared the good news over Facebook, saying, "Every church I enter I will be shouting down the aisles!” she wrote. “So please excuse me now for my disruption! Do you hear me! I will be shouting the victory in your face!"
When he was alone and scared at the hospital, his mother sang to him like she was singing lullabies to help him sleep. She spoke to him virtually, read him Scripture, and tried to calm him. He had been scared that he would die just like his dad did.
The same night, she got a call from the hospital at 10 pm asking her to rush there. Just like the last time. By March 29, Freddie III was dead. "In three days, I lost my husband and son to an ugly plague,” she told The Detroit News. “I watched my son go from completely well and whole and happy to being gone in three days."
Her son had been a "miracle child" because he was conceived after 15 years of prayers and waiting. He was her only child and was born to her when she was 40, that too after two miscarriages. Talking about her son, she said, "He ate, slept and drank the football team. 'Mama, I’m gonna be on the football team, I’m gonna be on the football team.'"
She couldn't give them the funeral she wanted to give them either. She sat in her car and watched them being buried due to restrictions. "It seems so unfair," she said. "I can’t even give them a proper burial. I just have to put them into a box and put them into a hole."
Their obituaries state that Freddie Brown Jr., 59, died on March 26, while their son, Freddie Brown III, 20, died on March 29, as per PEOPLE. "Honey gone, now Sonny," said Sandy to The Detroit News.