The hospital continued to call her every hour until Keshia died around 5:30 a.m. — just one day after her 44th birthday — leaving Sherry "with the heaviest heart I’ve ever felt."
"I lost my only sister Lakecial this morning," she wrote on Facebook that day. "Yesterday was her birthday, my true Gemini. I love you, sister, and I’ll take care of the boys! Family and friends, please continue to pray for my family."
Hours later, Sherry received another heartbreaking phone call — this time, from the staff at Medical City Dallas, notifying her that her mother's condition was declining and she would likely pass soon too, The Dallas Morning News reports.
Sherry told the outlet she was allowed to go see her mother — who was also on a ventilator and unconscious — one last time but refrained from entering her hospital room and touching her in her final moments to prevent spreading the virus to others.
“I knew that I was preparing for a funeral and I didn’t want to run the risk," she told the outlet.
By 3:55 p.m. that same day, Sherry announced the devastating news to her Facebook followers, writing in a post, "The other half of my heart is gone! I lost my mom. The pain I feel is unimaginable. COVID 19 is real. My mom and sister are in heaven. June 9th the day I wish I didn’t have to see."
"It hurts me because I lost my mom to this, my sister — the only mom, the only sister I have. I look at the news and it’s just like, the world is going on and I’m stuck," she added to The Dallas Morning News. "They were my world."
As she continues to grieve two unimaginable losses, Sherry says she's finding comfort in the things that made her mother and sister both so special.
"I’ll always remember my mom's smile. She was so kind-hearted," she tells PEOPLE. "My sister was the 'get-the-party-started' one. She kept everyone laughing and was always ready for a good time."
Now a survivor of COVID-19, Sherry also wants others to know how severe the virus is so that no one else has to experience such major losses.
"My message is for everyone to take this virus seriously," she says. "Regardless of what politics say, COVID 19 has no face, age, or race. Stay home till a cure is found."
As of Wednesday afternoon, there have been at least 220,062 cases and 2,829 deaths attributed to coronavirus in Texas, according to the New York Times. In Dallas, the second hardest-hit county in the state, there have been at least 28,131 cases and 410 deaths, the Times reports.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.
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