Mother loses battle to COVID-19 on daughter’s 18th birthday, community rallies to raise money for college funds

Local News

(WIVB) — A family is mourning the loss of a loving mother, after the woman lost her fight with COVID-19. Pam McCrory was only in her upper 50s and had no underlying health conditions. She passed away on Saturday, April 18th, which was also her daughter’s 18th birthday.

A family friend, Chris Malicki, tells News 4, Pam fought the coronavirus for about a week and was getting a lot better. She still had a cough on the day she passed away, but her fever was completely gone. Malicki called Pam’s husband, Bill, around dinnertime and could hear Pam in the background of the conversation. Just 2.5 hours later he received a text that she had passed.

“I was floored,” Malicki said.

Her family believes she passed away due to cardiac arrest, after a coughing fit.

“You watch the news every day and you kind of get oblivious to the fact that it seems like, ‘Oh my God again and again,” he said. “And then it finally hits home, like really really close, and then you realize it’s not a joke obviously.”

Malicki has coached the McCrory’s only child, 18-year-old Gabby, for about 10 years. The high school senior has plans on pursing hockey in college. He said Gabby was Pam and Bill’s entire world.

“That was it… it was just the three of them,” he said.

And he said Pam and Bill showed a love you don’t see often.

“Bill and Pam would get up at 4 o’clock in the morning, and have coffee together… every day.”

Pam worked in food services at a local hospital, which is where it’s believed she picked up the virus. Before the pandemic, when the girls were at away hockey tournaments, Malicki said Pam made sure everyone was very well fed.

“She made the best wraps, and foods and subs, and all the girls would run to their room to get food because she would bring a microwave (and) a crockpot,” he said. “Everyone knew if you wanted food, you’d go to Pam’s room.”

And that giving, motherly spirit wasn’t just seen at hockey tournaments. Chris said Pam and Bill were the neighbors you’d always want around.

“They were genuine people,” he said. “One hundred percent hardworking and genuine. They’d give you the shirt of their back if you needed it. Typical Buffalo, hardworking, ‘We’re the city of good neighbor’ type of people… they exemplified that and then some.”

To try and re-pay the family that has lost so much, the ‘McCrory Fund’ was set up to help with funeral costs and to help get Gabby through college. You can learn more about the fund, and how to donate, by clicking here.

Kelsey Anderson is an award-winning anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2018. See more of her work here.

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