Woman known for fostering more than 300 children over two decades dies of COVID-19, husband in ICU

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — Foster parents Susan and Dennis Braley have taken in more than 300 foster children over the past two decades. But in the past two weeks, COVID-19 has rocked their family to its core.

Both Susan and Dennis, who had seven adopted children living in their home, tested positive for the virus barely two weeks ago.

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Susan lost her battle with the virus just over a week later, and Dennis remains hospitalized fighting for his life.

The couple’s oldest daughter, Carianne, started a GoFundMe page to help cover mounting costs with the family’s matriarch gone and its patriarch in the ICU.

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Carrianne said her parents adopted their youngest child, Ryan, just two years ago.

“I said, ‘mom, he’s seven, why are you adopting him?’ She said, ‘Carrie, it’s not like we want to be parents all over again at 65. But we have a home and we have stability, and we have love to give why not?’” Carianne said.

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Carianne said her father is continuing to make improvements, but he could still be in the hospital for a few more weeks.

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.