Single mum raising 12 kids after sister and brother-in-law die from Covid-19

Brianne Tolj
·2-min read

A single mum is now raising 12 children after her sister and brother-in-law died of Covid-19.

Chantale McCall, 35, from Selma, in the US state of Alabama, died from complications of the devastating virus in September.

Her husband, Lance Martin, 40, died just one month later on his wife’s birthday.

Their five orphaned children, aged between five and 15, are now being raised by Chantale’s sister, Francesca McCall, who had made the promise to step in if need be years ago, according to local publication

Chantale McCall, her husband, Lance Martin and their five children. Source: GoFundMe
Chantale McCall's five children, aged between five and 15, are now being raised by her sister, Francesca McCall. Source: GoFundMe

Francesca, who works for an insurance company from home, is already raising her own seven children, aged between two and 17.

“We are very close,” Francesca McCall told the publication of her and her four sisters.

“We always used to have discussions like, ‘if anything happened to any of us’, we knew that we wouldn’t want our children to be separated.

“When [the hospital] called us up there, I told her that she wouldn’t have to worry. I would raise her kids and take care of them like my own.”

Francesca has set up two pairs of bunkbeds in three of her bedrooms for the kids to sleep on.

She told she was “taking it day by day” with the help of her own mum.

Chantale and her sister Francesca McCall. Source:
Francesca, right, had promised Chantale she would take care of her kids if anything ever happened. Source:

Alabama community helping grieving family

The community has since rallied around the family, creating a GoFundMe to help buy any items they need and presents for Christmas as they grieve.

Francesca said the kids have been too scared to go outside out of fear of catching Covid-19 as well.

“We’re doing OK. They have their [tough] moments at times, processing everything,” she said.

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