RALEIGH, N.C. -- COVID-19 continues to take lives, and a North Carolina corrections officer who lost her mother to the virus has a message for everyone:
"Wear the mask. It is not about you, wear the mask."
Cheri Styons also battled the virus herself. She said she caught it in August from a co-worker. She unknowingly took it home and gave it to her mother.
"When you see this virus firsthand, it is horrible. It took her out literally one organ at a time - heart, brain, lungs," Styons said.
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Styons said it was heartbreaking to watch her mother die, and even worse knowing that she is the one who passed on the virus that killed her.
"He gave it to me and I gave it to my mom, and if you've ever seen anybody die from this, especially like in her case -- it was bad, it was horrible."
Styons and her mom lived together, and days after Styons was diagnosed with the virus, her mom got sick too.
"I guess the conditions in her body were just right, or it liked where it was and it stayed," Styons said.
While Cheri recovered, her mom's health deteriorated and died weeks after contracting the virus.
"She's not a statistic. She's not a number, she's my mom," Styons said.
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Now that her mom is gone, Styons wants others to wear a mask for her.
"Wear it. Think of somebody else. I wish someone would have thought about my mom."
Styons says hearing people complain about wearing a mask, makes the pain of losing her 67-year-old mom to COVID-19 even worse.
"That time was taken from us and that's not right. People think too much about themselves. I hear people say, 'That's my freedom. You're taking away my air.' Well you know what, you just helped kill my mom," Styons said.
She will continue speaking out, hoping to prevent someone else from going through the pain her family is dealing with due to the virus.
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