ETOWAH COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — An Etowah County family is warning others about the dangers of COVID-19 after three deaths within the family.
A total of nine people in the Porter, Posey, and Woods families tested positive for coronavirus over the past several weeks.
“I hope that for our family and the loses that we’ve gone through that it would be a lesson learned. I don’t want anyone to ever have to experience what we are going through,” said Kyra Porter, who lost her sister, her father, and her cousin.
Porter identified her late family members as 70-year-old Billy Ray Woods, 51-year-old Phacethia Posey, and 48-year-old Michael Woods.
The family always gathered together on Sunday nights for dinner.
“I’d tell them I love them. I miss them and I appreciate every day on earth. We didn’t have a perfect family, but we had a family that prayed together, that ate together, when you saw one of us, you saw all of us,” said Porter.
According to the family, Phacethia and Tyrone Posey’s son, Tyrone Jr. was the first to show any symptoms.
“I was showing a little symptoms and I went to my mom’s house, she started doctoring on me. I stopped going to work. My symptoms started to get worse,” said Tyrone Posey Jr.
Access to testing was difficult early on. Posey’s grandfather, Billy Ray Woods was the first to be hospitalized.
Soon, other family members were tested and learned of positive results. One family member had no symptoms.
“We was staying home and we took it serious and somehow it hit our family like it did and I just want people to know that it is serious,” said Posey Jr.
Tyrone Posey Jr. told CBS 42 he will miss his mother and her smile. His grandfather was known for his BBQ restaurant in the community. His cousin, Michael, was described as someone who loved to cook and help others.
“I know that they are going to heaven and I thank God for having them here this long, but they are in a better place now,” said Posey Jr.
He told CBS 42 that he hopes others take health warnings seriously.
“I’m going to probably wear a mask and gloves for a while, just washing my hands and just all that, and I think the younger crowd for sure needs to take it serious because there is a lot of people out there that has it and doesn’t know it,” Posey Jr. said.
As remaining loved ones continue to get healthier, they are leaning on their faith, each other, and the community.
It’s what her father taught her.
“He always taught us to pray and to trust God. He always taught us to love each other, stick together, and to pray and that’s why our family is so close now,” said Porter.
Porter said it will be difficult without her sister Phacethia Posey.
“She was the first person I would talk to in the morning and the last person I talked before I go to bed and in between the day, we talked all day long, her and my other sister. All three of us are real close,” Porter said.
She’s heartbroken for Posey’s husband Tyrone Sr. and son Tyrone Jr. Both tested positive for COVID-19, but are recovering.
In addition to the Posey’s, Porter and her husband also tested positive for COVID-19 and are recovering.
Porter’s sister, Johnjalene Woods and her mother Barara Woods are also getting healthier, she said.
Despite the family’s loss, Porter is thankful for the support from neighbors and loved ones in the community.
“The prayers, the text messages that is coming from everywhere. It is unbelievable and I want to thank everybody for everything that they’ve done,” said Porter.
Family members are all out of the hospital and are in various stages of the recovery process at home.
Loved ones ask for continued prayers.