By Jeff Wagner

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 63-year-old mother and grandmother gone from COVID-19. WCCO begins an ongoing series, sharing the stories of some of the people lost in Minnesota and western Wisconsin to the pandemic.

We begin with a woman who always fought for her family, forced to spend her last days away from those she loved.

“She was a woman with a big heart. She did a lot for her family,” Asher Birdhorse said.

Rosalyn Goodbuffalo raised a family of six children as a single mom in Minneapolis.

“Throughout all the years it was always my mom. On Father’s Day I would always call my mom and wish her a Happy Father’s Day because she was my mom and my dad,” Autumn Birdhorse, her daughter said.

Autumn wants to remember those happy times, rather than what happened in a few short weeks.

“We were always making sure she had a face mask, gloves on. I was constantly wiping my car down, the door handles, anything she touched,” Autumn remembered.

Rosalyn’s family took COVID-19 precautions seriously.  Their mom was a diabetic and on dialysis. Meaning the virus could be more severe if she contracted it.

“That’s the one thing with this COVID is we thought this couldn’t happen to us,” Asher said.

But on May 24, Rosalyn was short of breath and went by ambulance to the hospital where she tested positive.  A ventilator at Bethesda wasn’t enough.

“Her chest was going in and out really hard and you could just tell she was struggling to breathe. She was like that for two weeks, kept getting worse and worse and worse,” Autumn said.

Rosalyn died on June 15. Her family members were individually allowed to visit for the first time to say their final goodbyes.

Ever since, they have struggled to fund a basic burial.  A GoFundMe page has put their pride aside to ask for help. They are also sending a message of awareness that they hope other families will hear.

“COVID-19 is real. It’s real,” Asher said.

WCCO would also like to share any memories if you’ve lost a loved one to COVID-19. If you’re willing, send us an e-mail to tips@wcco.com.

Jeff Wagner

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