Family of Detroit mother who died of COVID hopes story will encourage others to get vaccinated

Mother of 6 dies in hospital after being placed on ventilator

Back in April, Renee Crutcher, a mother of six, was hospitalized with COVID-19 and placed on a ventilator. Sadly, Crutcher died several months later.

Back in April, Renee Crutcher, a mother of six, was hospitalized with COVID-19 and placed on a ventilator.

Sadly, Crutcher died several months later. But before she passed away, Crutcher fulfilled one last wish. She gave birth at six months to a healthy baby girl before her health declined. Before she passed, she was able to hold her baby girl.

“That meant a lot to me,” said Lea Smith, Crutcher’s mother, who along with Crutcher’s husband is helping raise the six kids. “And I know it meant a lot to her. Because that’s all she wanted. She wanted to see her baby.”

Smith’s granddaughter was born three months early while Crutcher battled COVID.

Her family is hoping their tragedy will encourage others to get vaccinated. The newborn was cared for in the NICU while Renee was placed on a ventilator. The family hoped she’d recover.

“We all thought that she was coming home and we thought was she was going to be well,” Smith said.

Crutcher was transferred to University of Michigan Hospital, but her health continued to decline.

“When she came out of the coma, her vitals and all her our internal organs start to shut down,” Smith said.

Before she died in September, Crutcher regained consciousness and met her baby, Camry Renee.

“It was beautiful,” Smith said. “Nothing can describe it. No words can. No words. It was just beautiful.”

Crutcher leaves behind a heartbroken husband and six children.

“There’s not a day that passes (where) you don’t talk about her,” Smith said. “And we miss her very much. Very, very much.”

With Christmas around the corner, the family is hoping for help.

“We have a pretty close-knit family,” Smith said. “And we all been pulled together the best that we can at this point to take care of children and their father is wonderful. But yes, we do need a little help. It’s hard now. It’s very hard.

The Detroit family says they’ll do everything to keep her memory alive.

“We don’t say she’s gone,” Smith said. “We just we embrace the fact that she she’s an angel now she’s our angel.”


About the Author:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism