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'She was our rock': Iowa family loses mother, grandmother to COVID-19

61-year-old Barbara McGrane Brennan lost her battle to the coronavirus after spending 15 days on a ventilator.

IOWA, USA — "She was the perfect mom, perfect grandma," said Tonya and Sierra Fields who lost their grandma and mom at just 61 years old. 

Barbara McGrane Brennan got tested through TestIowa after feeling ill for a couple of days and three visits to urgent care. 

"She got tested Monday, her test results came back Wednesday and that's when I had to take her to the hospital," said Tonya. 

Just hours after Barbara arrived at the Waterloo hospital, she was placed on a ventilator. 

"I had texted her about a couple hours after she got admitted and I never got a text back," said Sierra. "And then my mom called and said they put her on a vent."

Just fifteen days later Barbara passed away in the hospital.

"They let us Zoom with her but obviously she couldn't speak so we just talked to her as if she was listening," said Sierra. 

But Sierra, Tonya and the rest of her family don't want Barbara to be remembered as just a statistic but as the great sister, mother and grandmother she was. 

"She was our rock. I called her everyday to vent to her," said Sierra. 

"She was always there for me, taking care of us," said Tonya through tears. "Taking care of my kids when I went through a rough time. She taught me everything I know. I don't know how I will live without her."

As a record number of coronavirus deaths our being reported across the state and country, Sierra has one message to share with her fellow Iowans.

"It's real. And you know, all these people that aren't wearing their masks or don't think it's real, it is. And you don't think about it until it happens to you."

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