DETROIT — The family of a Detroit couple with seven children are grieving after both parents were infected with COVID-19 and died less than a day apart.
Troy and Charletta Green, married for 22 years, had plans to go to Florida with their seven children in August, Troy’s sister Tiki Green said.
Charletta’s mother died from COVID-19 in May and the Detroit couple had planned an August vacation with their kids, ages 10 to 23, to spend time together and grieve the loss of their loved one, Tiki Green said.
Days before leaving for Orlando on Aug. 13, Troy felt ill and decided to stay back in Detroit until he felt better.
Charletta went ahead with the children and her sister, but when she arrived in Florida, she too fell ill, Tiki Green said. Within two days, Charletta was bedridden and taken to a hospital in the Orlando area.
In Detroit, Troy was experiencing breathing problems and got worse by the day. He was admitted to Detroit Receiving Hospital, Tiki Green said. They both ended up on ventilators, first Troy on Aug. 23, and then Charletta on Aug. 26, she said.
The virus damaged Charletta’s lungs and both of them suffered from diabetes, she said.
Charletta began to improve, as did Troy, who had his ventilator removed and was discharged from the intensive care unit and was doing better, Tiki Green said.
“Troy was improving. He was not out of the woods. He got dialysis. He was getting better but it was a slow, slow process,” she said.
But down in Florida, Charletta took a turn for the worse. Doctors said she had a blood clot. The children called their father, Tiki Green said, and told him about their mother’s worsening condition.
“When he found out her status, he started having chest pains and died from a heart attack,” Tiki Green said.
Charletta died on Labor Day. Troy passed away at 3 a.m. on Tuesday, Tiki Green said.
“They (the children) came to grips with their mom. They (doctors) told them they did all they can. They were able to say goodbye to her,” Tiki Green said. “My brother’s death was unexpected. It happened in the middle of the night.”
A crowdfunding campaign has been started to raise money for a double funeral and for expenses for the children to cover school clothes, school supplies, food and other needs. Their ages are 10, 13, 15, 18, 19, 21 and 23.
Tiki Green said her brother and his wife were planning to get the COVID-19 vaccine but had not found the time to do so. All the couple’s children who are eligible for the vaccine have it, she said.
“The kids are home. They are being cared for by the older children. As far as support, the aunt and uncles are doing it,” she said. “We are making sure their bills are paid and they have food. And we take shifts, giving them everything they need.”
Story by Jennifer Chambers, The Detroit News.