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