BUNCOMBE COUNTY, North Carolina (WLOS) — 500,000 Americans have lost their lives to COVID-19 within the last year.
It has been nearly a year since we first met the family Lloyd Lamb, just days after his death last March. He was the first recorded COVID-related death in Buncombe County.
Monday, News 13 met his children and wife who say they still have not been able to say their formal goodbye to the father, grandfather and great grandfather.
“He was a very, very people person,” Lloyd’s oldest daughter Terry Lance said. “He knew everybody.”
Last March, the 81-year-old, who spent his retired life working at Sam’s and Walmart, became sick.
“He kept getting a little worse and a little worse,” Lance said.
Eventually, his family brought him to the Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville, where he was tested for COVID-19 and released. But, his sickness continued to progress and Lloyd was later brought back by ambulance.
“They said that they wouldn’t let anyone in unless they thought he was dying,” Lance said.
It was a call his family did not want to receive, but came. Lance was able to be there when her father died.
“It was very hard,” Lance said. “I came home and momma said she was going to die too, and I said, ‘no you are not. We can’t do without both of you. We already lost daddy, you have to get better,’ so she did.”
While Lloyd’s wife Virginia was processing her husband’s death, she too was battling the virus.
“I was just so sick, I couldn’t sit up, and I was scared to go to bed because I felt like I was going to die,” Virginia said.
About a month later, she was finally able to walk outside.
“It’s lonely,” Virginia said. “I’ve heard of people being real lonely when they are old, but now I realize what it’s talking about if you don’t have anyone like that.”
The family continues depending on each other to navigate the tough time without Lloyd.
“Sometimes I just broke down and cried. There’s nothing we can do. We go to the graveyard and put flowers and just talk to him a little bit. We just take care of momma. That is what he would want and glad that we are all right here together,” Lance said.
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