Son donates to hurricane relief in honor of parents who both died from Covid days apart

Spencer Roche is one of hundreds of people who donated to fill up a big rig that went to Terrebonne Parish on Saturday, but his donation may stand out due to who he honored with his good deed.

Roche’s parents both died just five days apart from Covid. His mother, Kathleen Roche, died Aug. 13th at Ochsner and his father,  Barron Roche, died Aug. 18th.

Roche said his father called him July 26th saying he had a nasal drip and not to bring their granddaughter Haley, 8, to them to watch for the day in case they had Covid.

July 31st, Roche said his father said both of them had tested positive for Covid. 

Aug. 1st, his two younger brothers Bryson and Nicholas, tested positive for Covid. Roche’s 8-yr-old daughter, who his parents would watch, tested positive Aug. 3rd. His wife tested positive Aug. 6th. Roche said despite the negative test for him, he had chills, loss of taste and smell. Thankfully though, everyone fully recovered. 

The next day, Aug. 4th, Roche said he called his mom and she was breathing very heavy. She told her son it was an anxiety attack, but Roche forced both his parents to go to the emergency room. 

His mom’s blood oxygen level was at 40 and his dad was at 60. A normal level should be between 98-100.

Roche said a nurse at the hospital told him had his parents not gone to a hospital, his mom could have died in her sleep that night with such a low blood oxygen level. 

Aug 5th, Roche said his mom was placed on a ventilator. Before though, Roche said his mom told him that she was scared, to take care of her granddaughter and that she loved all her family. Eight days later, she died from Covid in the hospital. Roche said he told his mom, “It was okay. Stop fighting and go be with the Lord now.” He added she took her last breath after that. 

The family chose not to tell their dad who was on a bi-pap machine in fear his condition may get worse. But after 33 years of being married, Roche said somehow his dad knew she didn’t make it. In fact. Roche said his father told an aunt, “I can’t live without my wife.” 

The day after his mom died, Aug. 14th, the hospital called saying his dad was getting worse. The family rushed to the hospital and said their goodbyes just in case. They told their dad he had to fight before he was also placed on a ventilator. 

On Aug. 17th, they got a call that their dad’s vitals were dropping. The doctor did tell them that their dad would probably pass soon. The family spent the day with their dad and told him the exact same thing, “It’s okay daddy. Go be with your wife and the Lord. I got it from here.” That’s also when he took his last breath at 3am on Aug 18th. 

Roche said it’s a poetic love story in a way. He said his parents did everything together and proof in that was that they went together. The family had a double funeral. 

“It’s not about pity or attention. We just want people to be aware that Covid is real and to be as safe as possible. If our story or my brothers’ story can give you some hope, it’s that despite whatever hardship may come your way, you can always try to find the positive in negative,” said Roche. 

It’s why Roche chose Sept. 10th to donate to Hurricane Ida’s relief drive because his mom’s 58th birthday would have been that day. 

“She was always the driving force to donating and just constantly giving back to the community so I know if my parents were here today, they would be filling this truck as much as possible. It’s why my brothers and I are doing this today. My parents story is a beautiful story,” said Roche. 

Roche added a special thank you to the Walker Police Department, Ocshner medical team, as well as all preachers in this difficult time. 

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