GREENWOOD, Mo. — Family and friends are heartbroken over the loss of an Independence couple who died from COVID-19.
Bryan and Amie Ladd died just days apart after battling the virus for weeks in the hospital.
Family, friends and community members are coming together to support the couple's two teenage children.
The Ladds were well-known in the antique community. They spent the last six years as vendors at the Porch Swing Boutique in Greenwood.
Owner Heather McCarty had gotten to know the couple well over the years.
"They were some of the best people. They loved Jesus. They loved their friends, their family. They spent a lot of time giving back and working at the church, especially with kids," McCarty said.
Abby Hickey said her sister is a close friend of the couple's and plans to adopt their two teenage children, who the Ladds adopted.
"Their kids are a little bit older so I know that in some ways people think that makes it easier, but it also makes it harder because they have lived their whole life with them," Hickey said.
While Hickey said she doesn't know the couple's vaccination status, their deaths are eye-opening to the seriousness of COVID-19.
"Stories like this you only hear on the news, you know? And when it hits close to home, it’s like a bad dream," Hickey said. "It’s very hard."
Hickey is encouraging others to take advice from their doctors of take care of themselves.
As Hickey and McCarty work to process the loss of the Ladds, they're turning all of their focus to the couple's kids.
McCarty said she will keep the couple's corner of antique and vintage items open in her shop. Her other vendors are donating items and all of the money made will go toward supporting their kids.
"They raised some really amazing kids, and I think with the support and love of everyone that loved Bryan and Amie that we are going to help them get through it," Mccarty said.
There is a Gofundme page set up to support the couple's children.
Editor's note: A previous version of this article incorrectly spelled Bryan Ladd's first name and Amie Ladd's first name. It has since been corrected.