A passionate plea: Rock Island woman shares story of dad’s COVID-19 death to emphasize the seriousness of the virus

Local News

The COVID-19 pandemic continue to impact all of our lives in some way.

For one Rock Island woman it has changed her life forever her father died from the virus last week.

Mary Essman’s dad Roger Stancliff died last Wednesday at University Hospitals in Iowa City.

He tested positive after developing a cough then took a turn for the worse.

A Facebook post by Mary is now going viral. She is sharing her emotions after losing her father just a few days ago.

She wanted to share her message and plea to others to take the virus seriously.

Stancliff died less than a month away from his 80th birthday.

“To go from sitting on the couch one minute to just literally suffocating the next,” says Mary.

She says saying bye to him through Zoom was one of the hardest things she’s had to do in life.

“I remember saying to the doctor will you just hold his hand, because he was just by himself with strangers, and that’s not fair. People who haven’t had to personally experience it you’re lucky,” says Mary.

Often times the feeling of fear turns into frustration, not because of losing her dad, but because of posts on social media that questions the seriousness of the virus.

“There’s such a divide about how people feel about wearing masks, about what it can do and what it can’t do,” says Mary.

That’s why she made the post that has been shared more than 1,000 times. Sharing her raw emotions about her father’s passing.

“Stop really thinking about yourself, because at the end of the day I didn’t have anybody in my family I wanted to give up for this,” says Mary.

A passionate plea from a daughter.

Mary says, “I think about my dad and I think about what he would have wanted. If there is one opportunity for a family to not go through what we went through. That’s the message my dad would want people to hear.”

Mary hopes her story will have some sort of impact on people who are not taking the virus seriously. The family is holding a private family visitation on Friday.

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