A Chicago family mourns the loss of a young mother due to the city’s poor air quality caused by Canadian wildfires, urging others to take the dangers seriously.
A Tragic Story of Loss
During Chicago’s smoky summer, one family shares a tragic story to raise awareness about the hazardous air quality of Canadian wildfires.
A Young Mother Dies Due to Low Air Quality
A young mother, leaving behind two children, lost her life due to the lingering effects of the city’s poor air conditions. Marybel Gonzalez of CBS 2 brings us the family’s heartfelt warning, exclusively on Channel 2.
The Aftermath Still Reverberates
While the Chicago skyline has gradually cleared over the past two weeks, when smoke from the wildfires cast a shadow over the city, the aftermath of the environmental crisis still reverberates.
People Had Difficulty Breathing
Diana Mercado vividly recalls the severity of the situation, describing how she had to wear a mask inside her car due to the difficulty she experienced in breathing.
Her Daughter’s Battle With Asthma
The consequences, however, extend far beyond temporary discomfort. Mercado’s daughter, Destiny, had been battling asthma since she was five years old.
The Air Infiltrated Their Home
Despite taking precautions and advising her daughter to stay indoors, their air conditioning system developed a crack, allowing the compromised air quality to infiltrate their home.
‘I Can’t Breathe’
Despite the family’s efforts to protect Destiny, the poor air quality proved overwhelming for her fragile respiratory system. Mercado recounts Destiny’s struggles: “She was telling me, ‘I’m really feeling bad. I don’t know. I can’t breathe.'”
She Was Rushed to the Hospital
Destiny was rushed to the hospital but was discharged a few days later. This situation had become somewhat routine for the 26-year-old.
This Time Was Different
However, this time was different. Mercado revealed, with a heavy heart, “She’s been sick before, and she’s gone and came back home after three days, but this time was back-to-back. She’s never gone back-to-back to the hospital like that.”
Her Fight Came to a Tragic End
Tragically, Destiny fought for her life throughout the night on Friday and Saturday until 10:17 p.m., when she passed away.
The medical professionals informed the family that they had exhausted all available treatment options.
She Left Behind Two Young Sons
Left behind are Destiny’s two young sons, struggling to comprehend their loss.
Mercado shared her younger grandson’s heartbreaking words, “When am I going to get to see my mom?”
She Now Needs to Care for Her Grandchildren
As a grieving grandmother, Mercado now has to assume the responsibility of caring for her grandchildren.
What She Would Have Done Differently
Overwhelmed with sorrow, she reflects, “If I would have known this was going to happen, I would have taken the air conditioners out the window and just shut them completely because now I’m without my child.”
The Threat of Unhealthy Air Quality
Although the immediate threat has diminished for now, the possibility of unhealthy air resurfacing in Chicago remains a real concern.
The Canadian government has already indicated its expectation of more wildfires throughout the year.
Her Warnings to Everyone
Mercado implores everyone to take this threat seriously, emphasizing, “I advise people to really listen to it because people do die from it. No, these things are not fake. They are real and they do hurt families.”
Additional Devastation From Wildfires
The heart-wrenching experience of this Chicago family serves as a stark reminder of the life-threatening consequences of poor air quality caused by wildfires.
Prioritize Environmental Awareness
It is a call to action for individuals, communities, and authorities to prioritize environmental awareness and take proactive steps to mitigate the harmful effects of air pollution, safeguarding the well-being of future generations.
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / VAKS-Stock Agency. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.
Source: CBS News