No one ever thought the young and vibrant Whitney Elrod of Stuttgart would be celebrating the birthdays of twins, Lyric and Korbin, for the last time.
A few weeks after celebrating her twin’s birthday on June 29, Elrod, a 14-year Riceland employee, was diagnosed with covid-19. Due to complications of the virus Elrod was admitted into the hospital mid July and a few weeks later had to be put in a medically induced coma all while her children were also fighting that same battle–quarantined from their mother for weeks.
Whitney Karmen Nicole Elrod never saw her children again. After weeks in ICU on a ventilator, at the age 33, Elrod passed away on August 19, 2021.
“Our 7-year-old babies were now fighting a global pandemic all while being quarantined away from their mother that they knew was in a life and death struggle,” said the twins father and step-mother Glen and Jamie Herron. “After 29 days, God ended her suffering and called Whitney home at just 33-years-old but not before blessing our girl and boy with healing grace.”
Jamie said the twins were heartbroken to hear of their mother’s passing.
“It was time for their dad and I to fulfill the role as mother and father fulltime for the twins,” said Jamie. “Our small and crowded 3 bedroom and 1 1/2 bath went from 5 children and us to 7 children.”
Jamie also had to make the hard decision to leave her long-time career at the prison due to the continued widespread outbreaks of covid-19 in the facility. Glen also made a tough career change decision leaving Riceland and taking a drastic pay cut to work at Park Avenue Elementary to be closer to his children.
“As we looked at our severely heartbroken children, their dad and I decided that their mental well-being was much more important than my career even though it left my husband as the sole provider financially,” said Jamie.
With a total of 7 children in a 1100 sq. ft. home and one bath tub, Jamie said everyday is a struggle, especially with 6 of the children 7-years-old and younger.
“We currently still have our two smallest children in our room and two twin beds and an air mattress in one room,” she said. “The twins went from a two-story house with their own rooms to sharing a room with two of their younger siblings.”
In efforts to make their house a home, the family is trying to add two more bedrooms, a tub to their half bath and convert their garage into a living room and close off their living room that is currently being used as a bedroom.
A Bake and Barbeque Drive will be held Saturday, October 16 at 1810 S. Park Avenue (Big Dawg Cuts Barbershop) to raise funds to make their dream a reality.
With a goal of $30,000 and half needed up front in order for the contractor to begin work, Jamie knows a bake sale alone will not fund the entire home renovation project.
A GoFundMe page has also been organized at
Donations will also be accepted at the bake sale.
“These children grieve daily almost. They need and deserve their own space for a peace of mind,” said Jamie. “With my husband as sole provider financially we now face the problem of our home being too small for the simplest moments of peace and solitude when we need it most.”