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'It's quite frustrating': High-risk family stuck at home during the pandemic

Kimberly Phillips is doing what she can to keep her daughter with Down syndrome and a chronic lung disease safe from COVID-19.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Stuck inside with little connection to the outside world, unless its virtual -- that’s the reality for Kimberly Phillips and her daughter Nevaeh Foster for the last year and a half.

“It's quite frustrating,” Phillips told News19.

11-year-old Nevaeh has Down syndrome and a chronic lung illness, making her very vulnerable to COVID-19.

“This is just so different. Every little thing could cost our kids their lives. This virus is deadly. I’ve lost friends that are healthy. My kid is not healthy, like, in the sense to fight this,” Phillips explained while holding back tears.

She added that even the common cold can be very dangerous for Nevaeh, so they can't take any chances with the coronavirus. 

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Phillips decided to leave Columbia to live with family in Spartanburg.

When asked how they're faring during these tough times, Phillips said “It is a life or death fight right now."

She can’t work a regular job due to fear of exposing Nevaeh, and now she’s struggling financially.

“I'm a single parent, you know, and she has special needs, and so every choice that I make going out that door, could be a choice that could affect her in ways that I don't even want to think of, but it's reality now,” Phillips said.

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She’s also home-schooling Nevaeh, since going to class is too risky and they take all the necessary steps to stay safe.

“Before you take your mask off, what do you have to do?" Phillips asked her daughter. Nevaeh responded, "Sanitize." 

However, due to the rising COVID cases in South Carolina, they’re stuck at home until further notice.

RELATED: Midlands mom of kids with disabilities urges others to mask up

“I just wish people could understand that what we're doing is not working," an emotional Phillips said. "Until we stand up in South Carolina and lock arms and do something better, we haven't seen anything yet, because it's going to get worse."

Kimberly hopes their story will inspire others to mask up and get vaccinated. 

Now that she is struggling to make ends meet without a job, she has started a Gofundme to help her family and others that are struggling too.

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