Son shares heartbreaking account of mother’s suffering, last words as she battled COVID-19


RIVER FOREST, Ill. (WGN) — Still reeling from the death of his 72-year-old mother, Patrick Brent sat down at his computer to document in stark detail the last conversation he had with her as she battled COVID-19.

“She described the pain as feeling her body was on fire or being stabbed with hot needles, and morphine and a host of other serious painkillers did almost nothing to lessen her agony when awake,” he wrote in a Facebook post Sunday. 

Jan Brent, a wife, mother and retired River Forest preschool teacher, died two days before Thanksgiving.

Her husband of 47 years, retired Cook County judge and prosecutor David Brent, was also positive for COVID-19. Despite being 75 and having the same risk factors, he had no symptoms.

Patrick Brent said his mother was in severe respiratory distress for days while in the hospital and was eventually sent home on hospice. He said according to his father, she never stopped moving because of the pain.

“She was waking up at night, and she would be awake for anywhere from seven to 10 hours, and the entire time she was having terrifying hallucinations and delusions and was in so much pain,” Patrick Brent said.

After she died, he shared the raw account of her death hoping it could help others. In it, he said her last words “will haunt me forever.”

As she struggled to breathe, he said she pleaded with him to take COVID-19 seriously, saying: “Do everything you can to protect yourselves…I don’t want anyone I love to go through this…I love you.”

Patrick Brent shared this post about his mother’s death from COVID-19 Sunday

Patrick Brent said his Facebook post eventually spread around the world.

“I’ve received messages from people in Australia, from India, from Germany, from all over the world expressing their frustration,” he said.

He hopes by sharing the story of his mother’s horrific experience, it will prompt others to follow her call to take the virus seriously and be more careful.

“People are talking about the vaccine. That’s not the silver bullet. We have a long road ahead of us,” he said. “We are on a path to destruction if we can’t get this thing under control.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Coronavirus COVID-19 videos

Biden slams Trump for 'knowingly' lying on COVID

McEnany: Trump 'never lied' to the public on COVID

Trump bemoans virus restrictions in North Carolina

University of Tennessee relocating Massey Hall residents to make room for COVID-19 self-isolation cases

Coronavirus in Tennessee: Knox County reports 100 new cases, 157 new inactive cases

Knox County Health Dept. says plan in place for vaccine distribution

UT Chancellor: Some dodging COVID-19 precautions

Two Tennessee women participating in a COVID-19 vaccine study

Tennessee teachers asking for more safety measures

State launching COVID-19 schools dashboard

Knox County Health Dept.: Numbers reflect new timeframe for inactive cases

Clinton High School cancels next 2 weeks of games due to virus

UT chancellor: Fraternities trying to avoid COVID-19 precautions

Trending Stories

WATE 6 Storm Weather School

WATE 6 On Your Side Twitter