2 ‘pillars’ of Indiana family die from COVID-19 within 24 hours

BRAZIL, Ind. (WRTV) - An Indiana woman and her family are heartbroken after losing two loved ones to COVID-19 one day apart, just before the Christmas holidays.

Holly Vanatti lost her 78-year-old father-in-law, Chet, and then her 51-year-old husband, Ken, to COVID-19 within 24 hours in December. Both had been hospitalized with the virus.

“We lose one person, that’s devastating. But we lost two, and it’s horrifying,” Holly Vanatti said. “It’s really hard losing two of the people that was the pillars of our family.”

Holly Vanatti (not pictured) lost her 78-year-old father-in-law, Chet (left), and then her 51-year-old husband, Ken (second from right), to COVID-19 within 24 hours in December. Both had been hospitalized with the virus.
Holly Vanatti (not pictured) lost her 78-year-old father-in-law, Chet (left), and then her 51-year-old husband, Ken (second from right), to COVID-19 within 24 hours in December. Both had been hospitalized with the virus. (Source: Vantelli Family/WRTV/CNN)

One month later, the situation is still unreal to her, especially as she tries to raise her young daughter, who is now without her father.

“We have three boys, and we had just adopted our little girl, who is 3 and a half,” Vanatti said. “That’s been really hard, too, because she’s asking every day, ‘Where’s my daddy?’”

Vanatti says she often wakes up thinking this is just a nightmare and will be over, but unfortunately, it continues on.

As she goes through the grieving process, she says part of it is making sure people start taking COVID-19 seriously.

“For people who are saying it’s not real, we’re living proof,” Vanatti said. “I get so frustrated when people say this is a hoax or this is all made up or it’s political. That’s not true.”

She encourages everyone to mask up and do their part to protect others, so no one else has to stand in her shoes.

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