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Interview with BBC

Belfast Woman Who Lost Her Mum To Covid-19 Pleads With Public To Wear Masks

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Rhonda remembers her mum as “fun, so loving and caring.” She shares the heartbreak of when she was unable to be with her during final hours.

Josephine Brown died earlier this year from Covid-19 and her daughter is pleading with the public to wear a mask.

Rhonda Tait lost her mother to the virus in April. In an interview with the BBC, she shares her mother’s last week and describes how her mum spent her final hours alone.

Six months on from the tragedy, Rhonda features in a government advertisement, warning of the dangers of coronavirus. As the second wave hits, Rhonda pleads with the public to follow public health advice to stop the spread.

It’s scarier this time,” said Rhonda.

Last time the cases were few and far between. But now you know so many people who have it and I don’t want anyone to go through the gut-wrenching pain we went through.”

Rhonda wants to spare other families going through the same pain as hers and describes the pain her family felt.

Rhonda finds herself following people she thinks look similar to her mum.

Maybe she has the same hair cut as mummy or the same coat and it’s like obviously I’m hoping it is her but knowing it’s not.”

Rhonda also recounts her heartbreak when she was not able to be with her in her final hours.

I just wanted to go and hold her hand and to hug her, for her to hug me, a hug from your mummy always made everything better.”

I’ve three sisters – our wee mummy, our life, the heart and soul of our family, died in hospital all alone.”

Rhonda pleas with the public to follow public health advice and wear a mask to prevent spread of the virus.

You’re not hurting anybody by wearing a mask or washing your hands or social distancing so just do it, you could save so many lives.”

She says “it’s Groundhog Day” for her family because they don’t get to go through the usual process of grief. They did not get to say goodbye or have a proper funeral for Josephine.

Rhonda and her three sisters plan to have a service remembering their mum, hopefully once the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

She deserved that. She deserved for her life to be celebrated.”