Virginia teen steps up to plate for family after mother, brother contract severe cases of COVID-19

Dr. Williams Family.PNG
Posted at 6:52 PM, Mar 18, 2021

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - They lost their dad back in 2015, then watched as their mother got sick with COVID-19 this year.

A Chesapeake, Virginia, family shared their experience of dealing with COVID-19 and explained how strength and faith got them through it.

“She never missed a beat. We never missed a meal, we always had clean clothes. We are here today because of my daughter,” said Dr. Sarah Williams, a licensed psychotherapist.

News 3 has interviewed Williams about the psychological impacts of COVID-19 over the last year. She said she and her 15-year-old son Carrington Tolliver both got diagnosed with severe cases of COVID-19 in 2021.

“I knew that if we survived this, we could do anything,” Williams said.

The family is no stranger to loss. Carrington and his twin sister, Carrisa, lost their dad back in 2015. Williams was left a widow, and Williams also experienced the lost of her mother two years prior.

They said it was traumatic when Williams got very sick from COVID-19.

Carrington said he was constantly coughing, felt physically terrible and was scared for his mom. He was also scared his sister would get sick, too.

Carrisa didn’t get sick, but she took over the lead role in the household.

Williams said her 15-year-old daughter would wake up every day at around 5:30 a.m. and check on everyone, make breakfast, clean the dishes, do the laundry, make lunch, feed herself, do her homework and make dinner. She said this went on for about six weeks.

Carrington said he spent days reading alone in his room and doing his homework while he was sick with COVID-19. Meanwhile, his mother was in isolation, having a tough time breathing.

“I was afraid to lay down because I was worried I would not wake up,” Williams said.

She said the scariest part was the breathing issues but said the isolation, anxiety and fear were also tough and that she was constantly worried about her children. She said she got so sick she could have been admitted to the hospital, but didn’t want to leave them alone and didn’t want them to worry.

But they both eventually got better.

“[Carrisa] came to my room and she said, ‘How are you feeling?’ and I said, 'I feel better,' and I could just see the relief," Williams said.

She said her daughter slept from Friday until Sunday following her mother’s recovery.

Carrisa said she felt extreme relief that her mom and brother would be okay.

The family said their faith in God got them through it and that the experience made them stronger. They wanted to share their experience to give hope to others who may be going through a difficult time with COVID-19.

This article was written by Margaret Kavanagh for WTKR.