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‘I wanted Mum to hear my voice’: Son records songs for mother, 48, who died with COVID

Written by on 30/01/2021

When Kelli McCaw stepped into an ambulance, her husband Stephen never imagined that COVID-19 would end her life.

But the 48-year-old from Galgorm in County Antrim died last week, a month after she had been admitted to hospital.

Stephen recalled: “Kelli went out to the ambulance, probably around 11pm. Her words going out the door were ‘I love you’.”

Unable to visit his mum in hospital, Kelli’s son Dean, 24, recorded songs and posted them online. Nursing staff played them to her.

Dean McCaw sang songs and recorded them for his mother Kelli McCaw to listen to as she died of COVID
Image: Kelli went from having standard nasal oxygen to intensive care in 48 hours

“She was in ICU, we couldn’t have phone calls with her because she was sedated but we were assured she could hear us,” he said.

“I just wanted Mum to hear my voice,” he added.

Kelli had rheumatoid arthritis but no other underlying heath conditions.

More from Covid-19

Doctors told her family that COVID-19 had “ravaged her body”.

Dean McCaw sang songs and recorded them for his mother Kelli McCaw to listen to as she died of COVID
Image: Doctors said coronavirus had ‘ravaged’ Kelli’s body

Asked what he would say to those who dismiss the virus as a hoax, Dean replied: “You’re tempted to say you wish they could experience it for a day.

“But I wouldn’t wish that on any of them because it’s just horrid.”

Together for three decades, Stephen and Kelli were childhood sweethearts and had been married for 26 years.

Fighting back tears, Stephen described her as “an amazing wife, an amazing mother and a very loyal friend”.

The family continued to hope she would recover and could not believe how quickly her health deteriorated in the end.

“She went from just having the standard nose oxygen to the full face mask in 24 hours and 48 hours after that, she was being sent to intensive care,” Stephen explained.

In the final moments of her life, Kelli’s family were brought to the room next door and granted one last video call to say goodbye.

Kelli McCaw's son Dean sang songs to his mother as she died of coronavirus in County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Image: Stephen McCaw described Kelli as ‘an amazing wife, an amazing mother and a very loyal friend’

Dean said: “We prayed with her, told her we love her, talked about memories and then I read Psalm 46 to Mum.

“Just as I finished the passage, the doctor said Mum’s heart had stopped so the last thing she heard would have been ‘be still and know that I am God’.”

Still posting songs online, now in his Mum’s memory, Dean says he accepts that she has “gone home – just not home to us”.

 Sky News

© Sky News 2020

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