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Family who lost athlete son, 21, to Covid urge others to have small Christmas

A family who lost their 21 year-old athlete son to coronavirus has urged others to have small Christmas gatherings to spare themselves the same anguish. Lea Ann Lyster and her husband Kevin spoke out after losing baseball player son Cody to Covid-19 in April, with the student’s heart stopping after he contracted the virus.

Lea Ann, from Aurora in Colorado, said: ‘You can not be sure, just because I’m young, just because I’m healthy, and he was healthy. He was a baseball player. You never know if you’re going to be the person that doesn’t survive this.’

She added: ‘If you’re having a smaller get together this year, that may mean that everybody can get together for the following years.’ And Kevin said: ‘We will live without our son for the rest of our lives. We won’t be able to have that traditional Thanksgiving, that traditional Christmas, birthdays.’

Cody, a student at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, was the youngest person killed by Covid in his state at the time of his death. He enjoyed good health up until his death, and played baseball for his university team.

Explaining the annual family traditions they can no longer enjoy with Cody, Lea Ann told KDVR: ‘From the time he was little, we had a tradition of Black Friday shopping.

‘I always had to buy a special spiral ham to make for him because he did not care for the turkey, because he loved ham.

‘Today would have been the day that we would have been putting up the tree. And we always waited because he was so into Christmas.’

Meanwhile, Kevin has shared how he misses getting texts from his late son about their shared love of sports.

Lea Ann and Kevin also contracted Covid, and recovered from it – but are still taking precautions in the coming weeks, and have urged others to do the same.

Scientific experts across the world have urged people to consider much smaller Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations this year, to try and limit the spread of the virus during the winter months.

While preventative vaccines look set to become available within weeks, epidemiologists still fear a surge of hospitalizations and deaths as people meet up with loved ones over the festive season.

Covid has now infected 12.24 million Americans, and killed close to 257,000.

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