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“Stolen by this virus”: An Illinois family pleads with residents to take pandemic seriously

Danielle Kater

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - The Illinois Department of Public Health report yet another day with over 100 COVID-related deaths Friday. Gov. JB Pritzker continues to stress the virus can impact anyone, regardless of age. He invited a Central Illinois family to share their experience after their daughter died earlier this month.

Dani Rubin Kater was only 30 years old when she contracted COVID-19. She lost her fight on November 3. Her family wants residents to understand why they should take the virus seriously. Dani's widower, Tim Kater, explained Dani's oxygen levels dropped after she had trouble breathing.

"She was texting us from the hospital, telling us that her oxygen levels were back up to normal," Kater explained. "We were all relieved, and later that night, her oxygen levels dropped."

Hospital staff put Dani on a ventilator, which kept her oxygen levels from dropping further. However, Kater explained they never came back up. Dani's parents lost their only daughter and he lost his high school sweetheart.

"No, these aren't just numbers, they're not just statistics," said Dani's mother, Tina Rubin. "These are real people with real lives and real futures that have been stolen by this virus."

Dani's mother asked residents to stay home as much as possible and quarantine if you are sick. She understands the COVID fatigue people have while constantly following guidelines. Still, Rubin said nobody should have to go through the devastating loss of family.

Remembering Dani Rubin Kater

"It's a parent's worst nightmare to have to bury your child. And Tim, I'm so sorry for the years of happiness that were stolen from you," Pritzker said. "You and Dani deserved a full lifetime together. But, I'm really glad you found so much joy in the time you did have."

Dani's family created a memorial fund to help provide care packages to COVID positive patients in the Macon County community. Pritzker noted patients have to stay alone when they go into isolation or quarantine. That's why Dani's family wanted care kits with masks, thermometers, symptom logs, and pulse oximeters. The kits come from Communication Science, Inc. based in Buffalo Grove, Illinois.

You can find more information about the Dani Rubin Kater Memorial Fund for COVID Care by clicking here.

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Mike Miletich

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