No loved ones were prepared for the death of Donald Herring, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), his sister, said.
“It just feels like something that didn’t have to happen,” Warren, 70, said in a new interview.
Warren said her brother was packed up and ready to leave the rehabilitation facility, which he went to after being hospitalized, but somebody tested positive for COVID-19. Staff then prevented him from leaving and he soon got sick.
“When he said that the coronavirus test had come back positive, it’s like that note you hear far off—a warning. And I remember thinking I couldn’t breathe,” Warren told The Atlantic.
The former Democratic presidential contender said she spoke with her brother over the next 11 days and he seemed to be doing well but one day she called and no one answered. When she called back after a short while, she was told he was rushed to the emergency room.
Herring rallied and was able to speak to Warren over the phone but his condition eventually worsened and he died.
“More than 60,000 families across this country are going through the same thing right now. It’s something none of us were prepared for,” Warren said.
“It’s always hard to lose someone you love. But to lose someone when you have to wonder: What were their last days like? Were they afraid? Were they cold? Were they lonely? That is a kind of grief that is new to all of us. And my brothers won’t get over this. They just won’t. None of us will.”
According to the Boston Globe, Herring was hospitalized for pneumonia in February before being moved to a rehab center. After testing positive, he was moved to the Norman Regional Hospital. He died on April 15.
Herring left behind his wife, two sons, and three siblings.