The final time Kim Eaton noticed her 83-year-old mom, Patricia “Pat” Eaton, was March 10.
That day was like most Tuesdays. Kim Eaton, a trainer at Riverside’s Mark Twain Elementary Faculty, picked up her mom at a Riverside assisted-living facility and drove to her mother’s favourite eatery, The Behavior.
Her mother ordered a barbecue rooster salad. Then they shopped at Dealer Joe’s.
A couple of days later, the ability the place her mom lived in an residence — Welbrook Arlington Senior Living Community — locked down amid the surging coronavirus pandemic, Eaton mentioned.
In April, nine residents and five Welbrook employees tested positive for COVID-19, the illness brought on by the novel coronavirus. Patricia Eaton was one of many 9, Kim Eaton mentioned.
Initially, her mom didn’t have respiratory issues. However earlier than lengthy, her mother was overcome by confusion and disorientation.
“The decline was fairly fast, which I perceive is usually the case,” Kent Eaton, Kim’s youthful brother and a political science professor at UC Santa Cruz, mentioned.
After 9 days on a ventilator at Parkview Group Hospital Medical Heart in Riverside, Patricia Eaton misplaced her battle with the illness that has swept the globe, killing nearly 100,000 in the U.S. and about 340,000 worldwide. She died Could 6.
Siblings Kim, Kent and Kelly Eaton had been surprised.
Mother was ‘essentially wholesome’
Positive, their mom was older. And she or he had been residing with hypertension and macular degeneration, her youngsters mentioned. However she didn’t have main well being issues that might make her particularly susceptible to the virus.
Although she was staying in an elder care facility, she lived for probably the most half independently, Kent Eaton mentioned.
His mom lived alone and didn’t need assistance bathing or dressing. The power cooked her meals, which had been served in a eating space, and later delivered to her residence after the pandemic struck, he mentioned.
“She was not notably involved,” Kent Eaton mentioned. “We weren’t both, actually. She was essentially a wholesome individual.”
Shedding their mom was made worse by her youngsters’s lack of ability to say goodbye.
“It was very heartbreaking,” Kim Eaton mentioned.
After the lockdown went into impact, she mentioned she talked to her mother from behind the residence door two or thrice. Kim Eaton couldn’t give her a hug and by no means noticed her mom once more.
Her older sister, Kelly, an administrator for an educational nonprofit in the nation’s capitol called The Washington Center, mentioned their mom’s bout with COVID-19 wasn’t essentially uncommon. However she known as it “a nightmare” for the household.
“It was simply exhausting as a result of we couldn’t be along with her,” she mentioned. “We couldn’t discuss to her.”
Household was shut knit
Kelly Eaton mentioned she and her siblings get why they couldn’t. Nonetheless, she mentioned, it was “a uniquely helpless feeling.”
It additionally is difficult to consider that one of many faces of the key disaster confronting the nation is the face of their pricey mom, Kelly Eaton mentioned.
“If you end up in the course of a pandemic and also you’re studying about it and it’s taking place to your individual household, it’s only a unusual feeling,” she mentioned. “I hold pondering to myself, ‘My mother is a kind of numbers.’”
The Eatons are a close-knit household.
“And mother was the middle of it,” Kent Eaton mentioned.
Patricia Eaton, who got here to Riverside from Buffalo, New York, when she was a younger woman, had 4 youngsters. The third oldest, Kevin, died in 1993.
“We had been all redheads,” Kent Eaton mentioned.
All 4 went to Poly Excessive Faculty in Riverside. Their mom went to Poly, too, graduating in 1954. And their father taught U.S. historical past there for a few years.
Eaton mentioned his dad and mom met at Riverside Metropolis School in 1954, the yr his mom graduated from Poly. His mom would go on to reside most of her life inside a mile of the school campus.
In addition to falling in love with one another — they married in 1955 — his dad and mom fell in love with Riverside’s Wooden Streets neighborhood. Eaton mentioned his dad and mom purchased, mounted up and rented a number of homes within the space.
Over six a long time, he mentioned, his mom lived in 4 properties. One was on Ramona Drive and was later offered to the school.
“They felt it was particular that RCC had the home that that they had mounted up,” he mentioned.
Vintage vendor ‘at all times had a smile’
Kelly Eaton mentioned their mom was a stay-at-home mother early on and later ran an vintage enterprise. She typically volunteered at Riverside’s Heritage House, an 1891 Victorian home-turned-museum. She stayed lively into her early 80s.
Precisely how their mom contracted COVID-19 stays a thriller.
However clearly, Kelly Eaton mentioned, elder care facilities “have just proven to be really vulnerable” to the coronavirus.
“The virus is admittedly powerful on older individuals,” she mentioned.
Constance Sablan, a spokeswoman for the assisted residing facility on California Avenue, mentioned that, to this point, 19 individuals have examined optimistic for COVID-19 — 9 residents and 10 employees.
“Each resident at Welbrook Arlington is sort of a member of the family to us,” Sablan mentioned in an e mail. “We’re devastated by the lack of a beloved resident who was outgoing, an avid reader and at all times had a smile on her face. Our heartfelt condolences exit to her household.”
Kent Eaton mentioned it’s irritating not understanding what occurred.
“We could by no means know,” he added.
However, he mentioned, “I simply attempt to keep grateful for the life that she had. She was very pleased there.”