“I love you with all my heart and you have given me the best life that I could have asked for.”
It is the first sentence of a farewell letter found by a woman in the phone of her husband, who died of the COVID-19, last week.
Jonathan Coelho, an American of 32 years and father of two children, ages 2 and 10 months, died Wednesday after a battle of 28 days against the coronavirus, said his wife, Katie, to CNN, on Friday. In this month, Coelho spent 20 days connected to a ventilator.
After the death of Jonathan, Katie Coelho was quick “in a fit of delirium” out all the photos from the phone of her husband. It was there that she found the note from Jonathan. There was written: “I’m so lucky, it makes me so proud to be your husband and the father of Braedyn and Penny. Katie, you are the person the most caring and loving that I met.”
“You are truly one of your kind… make sure you live your life in joy and with this same passion that made me fall in love with you. See you be the best mother for our children is the most wonderful that I have lived.”
Not farewell in person
Before the death of her husband, Katie Coelho had discussed the withdrawal next to the artificial respirator of Jonathan, either Thursday or Friday. On Wednesday, a nurse called Katie and asked him to go quickly to the hospital in Danbury, Connecticut. Jonathan has died of a heart attack caused by the symptoms of the virus before her arrival, without her having been able to say goodbye to him in person.
“They brought me in her room, and he lay there, he looked scared, she reported. He had not the air of peace, and I kept saying that I was sorry.”
According to the time stamp of the note of Jonathan Coelho, it was written on the 29th of march, at the same time as the last discussion consistent with the couple by telephone, before a final exchange of text messages in the evening. During the following weeks, the nurses called sometimes Katie FaceTime so she can talk to Jonathan.
University friends, Jonathan and Katie Coelho were in a relationship for seven years. Their boy Braedyn, 2 years old, is suffering in particular from cerebral palsy. This medical condition has pushed the family to take extra precautions against coronavirus, several weeks before the “Great Confinement”, but Jonathan, a probation officer, has had to continue working, his job being seen as an essential service.
Coelho has received the positive diagnosis to the COVID-19 on the 25th of march, the week following his contact with a sick person. The next day, the thirty-year-old was admitted to the hospital, because he felt headaches, stomach problems, lost sense of taste and smell, in addition to experience of the cough.
According to Katie Coelho, her husband Jonathan had no known medical condition. The mortality rate of the COVID-19 is higher in the elderly and people with comorbidity than in patients in health from the outset.
Katie Coelho hopes that what happened to her husband paints a realistic picture of the situation of a man who lost his life in part because he has continued to work in spite of the containment.
“My husband would not have had to die Wednesday,” she said.