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Aunt adopts nieces and nephew after their mom dies

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    DES MOINES, Iowa (KCCI) — A tragic death has brought a Des Moines aunt and her nieces and nephews closer than they ever imagined.

Deb Simmons lost her sister, and now she’s adopting all six of her kids.

From 6 to 19 years old, Simmons has her hands full, and she’s doing it on her own.

The children’s mother, Jamie, died in January. One week after a major surgery, she was rushed by ambulance to the hospital.

“I just raced up there. They let me see her, me and her oldest daughter, for a brief moment, and I just yelled in her ear, ‘sister you gotta fight. Don’t give up,'” Simmons said. “Massive heart attack. Thirty-five years old, and she left these six babies here with us.”

She’s taking on an already tall task and she is also her parents’ caretaker, who are both recovering from COVID-19.

Now the community is rallying around the family. If you want to help, Paparazzi Hair Studio and Spa in Des Moines is holding a curbside drive this Sunday, May 2. From 1 to 4 p.m., anyone can donate helpful items like clothing, shoes or gift cards.

Money can be donated at Affinity Credit Union to the “Jamie’s Kids” account.

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