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Faces of COVID: One Year Later

Laura Caso checks back in with the Warith family, one year after losing their beloved wife and mother Sierra.

CLEVELAND — One year ago to date, a Cleveland man woke up for the first time without his wife and with a newborn baby. 

Ramath Mizpeh Warith Sr.’s wife, Sierra, died of COVID-19, but stayed alive in the hospital just long enough to deliver her son. She never got to meet him or say goodbye to her older son.

“Even when she went to the hospital, my expectation was that she was still coming home,” said Ramath. “This wasn’t what we intended, but we have to go on.”

Ramath says his two little boys help him cope and continue enjoying life one year after their mother’s passing. His youngest, Zephaniah, never got to meet him mother. The closest he got to her after her death was the blanket she was on when she delivered him. He’d eventually be swaddled in it as her scent still lingered.

“He’s so much like his mom,” said Ramath. “Focused, determined, not a quitter, if he wants to do it, he will do it. See? He’s not stopping. I stick to them closely, very close.”

After all, he has two boys. Ramath Mizpeh Warith Jr. was just a year old when his mom died and before that, he did everything with Sierra.

“He points to her picture all of the time when I wear my t-shirts with her face on it or us together. Sierra breastfed him so he went to sleep in her arms, woke up in her arms, so that’s a huge void for him because he’s so used to having that closeness all of the time,” said Ramath.

He says his wife was constantly teaching Junior through Sesame Street and music – something he’s taken over as a single father. It’s also helped him cope.

“I haven’t given up, my name means ‘strong tower’ so I guess my mom choosing that name for me, was as far as how my life has been," Ramath added.

Ramath says his little boys remind him how strong he is and how strong they all are as one family. “They [are] still happy, they still wake up smiling, they still go to bed smiling, it’s still a happy home.”

Ramath believes he caught COVID-19 while working as an RTA bus driver and he gave it to his wife. 

Sierra was just 23, she died a day before 24th birthday.

Previous "Faces of COVID" stories on the Warith family: