BALTIMORE (WJZ) — These are difficult times for so many of you. Families everywhere are suffering in a myriad of ways — and that includes our family here at WJZ. We want to pause for a moment to share with you a very personal loss.
Today, we are having to say goodbye to two long-time, much-loved coworkers. Both were inspirational human beings and both died just days apart.
Deb Kelly was more than a brilliant editor. Her booth was “newsroom central” where we all checked in to talk, laugh and watch her make editing magic.
Your story wasn’t done until she made it sing.
Deb worked at WJZ for more than 30 years and was just getting ready to retire when she became deathly ill and contracted sepsis. She suffered the loss of her arms and legs.
But that didn’t stop Deb.
Her smile, her sense of humor, her passion for life intact, she learned to live with her prosthetics, and while she could no longer edit, she did go back to crocheting, cooking and thoroughly enjoying her days.
A year ago, Deb even agreed to an experimental double hand transplant at Duke University Hospital — which was successful. After overcoming all of these challenges, last week Deb suddenly and mysteriously developed a very high fever — and we lost her. It’s quite a loss.
We also lost Eric “HeavE” Scott Sunday, who was with WJZ for 25 years.
Any reporter who was ever lucky enough to have HeavE as their photographer had a brilliant, creative partner in storytelling. HeavE loved his work and it was impossible not to love him.
He was always the brightest light in the room, had such a disarming smile, so much enthusiasm for life and so much love in his enormous heart.
Sadly, it was that beautiful and generous heart that suffered an attack two years ago. HeavE fought back, continued fishing, hunting and enjoying his family, including his grandchildren, waiting for a transplant.
A couple of weeks ago, his family got the call that there was a heart for him. We were all so excited for him.
But during surgery and after he suffered a series of setbacks that made his recovery impossible.
So, now we are forced to find a way to say goodbye to two fine friends.
Our love goes out tonight to HeavE’s family and Deb’s family.
Tribute gifts in HeavE’s honor can be made to the University of Maryland, Baltimore Foundation in support of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine Advanced Heart Failure Fund. To learn more, click here.
This TV family here at WJZ will never, ever stop loving you, never forget the years we were honors enough to know and work with you.
This story was originally posted on Nov. 16, 2020.