'COVID IS REAL': Waterloo woman's plea after grandmother's death

Beth Kutterer Sanchez says her grandmother is not just a number.
Beth Kutterer with her grandmother Catherine Kutterer, who died of COVID-19
Beth Kutterer Sanchez and her grandmother Catherine Kutterer Photo credit Beth Kutterer Sanchez via Facebook

WATERLOO, IL (KMOX) - "COVID is the worst. COVID is not fair. COVID is not a fake virus. COVID is not a political agenda."

That's from a Facebook post posted by the granddaughter of a Waterloo senior living center resident who died of the virus over the weekend.

Beth Kutterer Sanchez says her grandmother, Catherine Kutterer, tested positive on Friday September 18.

"Originally it was asymptomatic," she says, "but within a week she had passed."

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Kutterer Sanchez says on Monday September 21 her grandmother's oxygen saturation levels had gotten so low, she was taken to Red Bud Regional Hospital. She died Saturday morning.

"She had the average health problems of an 88-year-old woman, but nothing you die from. This absolutely killed her."

Because the facility she was living in, Oak Hill in Waterloo, went on lock down in February, Catherine's family hadn't seen her in person for months. They also couldn't see her in her final hours.

"We could not go to the hospital and say goodbye, to touch her, to be by her side. She was surrounded by hospice care nurses, which were fantastic but they're strangers, they're not family. To have to say goodbye to a loved one and not be by their side...that's absolutely heartbreaking."

Kutterer Sanchez says she posted her statement on Facebook, because she wants people to take COVID-19, and those who are suffering from it, seriously.

"It's not a fake virus. People aren't making it up. People die. It's not a political agenda. It's very real."

And she says like her grandmother, people who die from it, are not just statistics.

"She's a person. She had a name. She has a family. She's not just a number when the health department reports positive cases and deaths. She's going to be very well missed. She was very much loved. She was real. She mattered."