A valley family is grieving after losing not just one, but two parents due to COVID-19.
News Channel 3’s Madison Weil sat down with Nicole Hughes, the daughter of Terri and Jerry Manning, who both died the first week of September after being hospitalized for weeks.
“It’s been very challenging for the whole family,” said Hughes. “It was heartbreaking...it was a lot of shock and awe...I think our family is still in shock."
Hughes says her 62-year-old mother Terri and 61-year-old stepfather Jerry died just eight hours apart after spending weeks side by side in the ICU — a testament to their true love and companionship until the very end.
Hughes says they were happily married for nearly twenty years.
“They were amazing, amazing people. I think the concept is you don’t know what you have until it’s gone,” she said.
Hughes explains in addition to her and her other adult siblings, Terri and Jerry leave behind a 15-year-old adopted daughter.
“My mom and stepdad adopted an amazing little girl when she was eight and she is now fifteen. We’ve grown up with her. She’s going through a lot right now,” she said.
Hughes says she now plans to legally adopt her into her own family.
“I’m not going to ever be her mother...or replace her, but I absolutely want to be the best role model and sister that I can be to her,” she said.
In addition to planning two unexpected funerals, Hughes is now also trying to plan financially for the adoption, child support and a college fund.
“There’s a lot of areas that we were not ready for. There are a lot of financial circumstances such as guardianship, adoption...things that are going to help with her medical [needs]...her future,” she said.
She says their family is filled with gratitude for the outpouring of love and support in recent weeks.
“We can’t make up for their love...at this point it’s just trying to give her the best head start that we can,” she said.
Hughes did not want to publicly disclose her parents' vaccination status.