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Talmadge mother of 4 dies of COVID-19 complications

Talmadge mother of 4 dies of COVID-19 complications
Posted at 4:40 PM, Oct 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-18 20:10:38-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Loved ones are mourning the COVID-19 death of a Talmadge mother of four.

Diana Tatum first became sick around September 20.

“She was getting body aches, headaches. Then she got a fever and had problems breathing,” said her daughter Ariana Suarez, 24.

Suarez says less than two weeks later, her mother was rushed to the ER with COVID pneumonia and placed on a ventilator. Ten days later, Tatum, a mother of a four — including a 14-year-old and 7-year-old, passed away at the age of 44. She was also a grandmother of three.

“I felt like my heart shattered, Someone just grabbed your heart, squeezed it and just ripped it right out of you. That’s how I felt,” said Suarez.

Suarez calls her mother a strong-minded and devoted mom.

“So lovable … not a day she didn't tell us that she loved us,” said Suarez.

It's not clear how Tatum contracted the virus. She worked at a fast-food restaurant and was diligent about wearing masks. Tatum, who was borderline diabetic, was not vaccinated.

“She just kept brushing it to the side. ‘We’ll see. We’ll see,’” said Suarez.

Suarez says her mother was hesitant about side effects, but family members tell us she recently had come around and was about to go in and get a vaccine, when she fell ill.

“She was like, ‘Might as well get it.’ It was like, ‘Let me just get it over with,’” said Suarez.

It's a shot Tatum never did get.

“A lot of what-ifs. What is she was vaccinated? Would this have changed the outcome of everything that happened?” said Suarez.

Suarez, who is also unvaccinated, is now leaning towards getting a vaccine.

“Opened all of our eyes. You don’t know until you actually go through this, where you lose a loved one to COVID-19 … Let’s just get it done and prevent any other heartbreak,” said Suarez.

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help with funeral expenses and the care of Tatum’s two youngest children.