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Lolita Brewer says losing three family members to CO poisoning, nothing has felt "real"

Posted at 6:10 PM, May 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-27 06:13:53-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — November 2021, Lolita Brewer got a call no daughter ever expects.

“When I got the call, I dropped the phone. I screamed,” Lolita Brewer said.

Lolita's mother, grandmother, and nephew all died at the same time. Death records show it was due to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.

Ruby Dean Roberts, 78, Ellay Mae Brown, 60, and Zadai Ashford, just four months old, all died at the same time.

"To wake up with a call of someone screaming…and get there and realize I’m never going to see them again…it’s hard to deal with. I wasn’t prepared for this,” Brewer said.

It's the type of tragedy no family can prepare for. Lolita says that whole day, she kept calling her mom and grandmother, not able to process they were gone.

Seeking answers amid loss

Ruby and her mom Ellay were the backbones of the family.

“If you were in a situation you knew you could call them and they were going to be like the rescue team,” Lolita said.

The three were parked in the family driveway, outside, when they died. No foul play is suspected. Lolita is fearful she may never know the true cause of what has since torn her family apart.

“My mom helped a lot with my sister’s baby. To put him to sleep, she would put him in the car and they would go to my grandmother’s house. They’d sit in the car and talk and laugh, sometimes I’d be on the phone with them,” Lolita said.

That day in November, Lolita wasn't on the other end of the phone. But this was something her family, like many families, did from time to time.

“They were just talking..and laughing. This time, it didn’t work out right,” Lolita said.

One thing that has helped get Lolita through the process has been starting her own business. Brewer owns her own candle and self-care product company. It was something her grandmother was passionate she succeed with, and a source of healing through this time.

You can find her products here. Lolita says she prays the products she sells will provide comfort to others going through difficult times. She says she certainly understands how that feels. Each product comes with an inspirational Bible verse, something she hopes helps others as well.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on Carbon Monoxide safety.

CO Poisoning Prevention

For additional information on carbon monoxide safety in your home or vehicle, visit the CDC website HERE.