32-year-old Oak Grove mother dies of COVID-19, family in need of breast milk for baby

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OAK GROVE, Mo. — An Oak Grove mom has died from COVID-19 complications after her whole family came down with the virus.

Megan Richards, 32, died on Monday. She left behind six children. One of them is only 5 months old and survived hospitalization for the virus himself. Her husband, Michael Richards, said the loss he feels is immeasurable and needs help to keep baby Myles healthy.

Her family hopes Megan’s story will remind others the virus is still here.

Being a mom made Megan’s life whole. It filled her with joy.

“She’s a great mom. She’s all about her kids,” mother-in-law Lisa Tracy said.

Megan and Michael have six kids in their blended family. The pair reconnected about six years ago through Facebook and went to school together. Their oldest child is 13 years old.

“The minute we met her she was family. You’re my daughter. That’s all there is to it,” Tracy said.

On Nov. 9, they noticed the kids started getting sick, and then mom and dad. They all came down with COVID-19. Michael says while Megan was sick, her main focus was making sure her children were taken care of.

“Trying to keep the kids occupied and making sure that she was getting rest, and she was trying to make sure I was getting rest, and it was it was stressful,” Richards said.

Baby Myles struggled, and on Sunday was treated at Children’s Mercy Hospital for dehydration, but was able to come home after receiving fluids. On Monday, Megan’s health took a turn.

“She was still breastfeeding. So trying to get her to to stay in bed. And rest was difficult because she, she just wanted to do everything. But I think it was three or four days. And from her positive test, she started to get really sick,” Richards said.

She told her husband she needed to go to the hospital, but didn’t think she could make it. He came into the living room and found her on the floor.

“It was scary. I couldn’t get her to wake up and she wouldn’t answer me, and I didn’t know what to do,” Richards said.

They thought her health would improve once she got to the hospital, but it continued to decline. Doctors told Michael her heart was having trouble and she died on Monday at St. Mary’s Medical Center.

She wasn’t vaccinated, but her family said they are encouraging others to make the choice.

“I regret that I didn’t push her to get it,” Richards said.

Now Michael said he will hold memories of her dear.

“I would tell her that I loved her more than anything,” Richards said. “They had the best mother ever. She did everything for them, and she lived with no regrets and she put them before anyone else.”

Tracy set up a GoFundMe page to help Michael and the kids get through this difficult time.

Michael said they also have a great need for breast milk for Myles. He said Megan had stored some but they are going through it and will need more soon. Anyone able to help can reach out by email to Megan’s sister Brittany Taylor at brittany.eppenauer@gmail.com, or Lisa at lisatracy615@yahoo.com.

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