Woman with Down syndrome dies from COVID-19; family says 'wear a mask'

The coronavirus claims the life of a Milwaukee woman living with Down syndrome. Months later, her family shares their grief and sorrow.

Anne Gallun is remembered by family as a pioneer. 

"She brought so much joy to our family," said Maggie Haddock, niece. "Anne was the centerpiece of our lives."

Born with Down syndrome, Gallun pushed past adversity throughout her life. But a new challenge came when the coronavirus pandemic hit. Family tells FOX6 News the 71-year-old was living in a group home when she fell ill over the summer.

Gallun's niece remembers the first sign something was wrong.

"She was very confused. She didn't know who I was," Haddock said.

Maggie Haddock

Gallun was hospitalized and tested positive for COVID-19. She died in July -- away from her close-knit family.

Months after her death, Gallun's family is not sure how she contracted the virus. Family members continue to share her story -- and a message.

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"Listen to medical experts, listen to scientists, wear a mask," Haddock said.

They hope the surge in coronavirus cases slows down soon.

"As a community, as a state, as a world, we really need to do our part to protect those that are vulnerable. People like Anne," Haddock said.

Gallun's family is not sure how or where Anne contracted the virus. Their plea is for people to listen to medical experts and scientists.

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