Following the death of her husband Jon Coelho, 32, from cardiac arrest due to coronavirus in the early morning hours of April 22, Katie retrieved all of his belongings from a month-long stay at the hospital, Buzzfeed News reports.
Among these items was his phone, which Katie went through to try and preserve the memories that only his device contained from the moments they shared together with their two children, Braedyn and Penelope. Then, she found a note that Jon had written for her in the event of his death.
“I love you guys with all my heart and you’ve given me the best life I could have ever asked for,” Jon wrote. “I am so lucky it makes me so proud to be your husband and the father to Braedyn and Penny.”
After two miscarriages, Katie and Jon decided to have a child through IVF. Born with neurological problems, Braedyn was expected to live for only six weeks, but he has since defied those odds, thanks to the help of his mother, who now cares for him full-time.
In the meantime, Jon provided for his family, working at a nearby courthouse, which he continued to do during the coronavirus pandemic since he was considered an essential employee.
Since Braedyn was a high risk for coronavirus, Jon was extremely cautious about putting his son in harm’s way. “My husband wore gloves, masks, he washed his hands,” Katie said. “He was so super vigilant because he was so afraid of what would happen to our son if he caught it.”
Despite his best efforts, Jon was informed on March 24 that he come into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. At first, Jon only showed mild symptoms, such as fatigue, migraines, and loss of the sense of smell, but when a test confirmed that he also had contracted the virus, he kept himself isolated in a section of his home.
In a matter of 24 hours, his conditions worsened. Jon’s persistent cough limited his ability to breath, so his doctors suggested that he go to the hospital to undergo nebulizer treatments. After spending nearly one week in the hospital, Jon wasn’t getting better, and his doctors decided to have him intubated.
Even though Jon was still struggling with his breathing, doctors were optimistic that he would make a full recovery.
On the seventh day, Jon was woken up because he was breathing too hard, and was believed to be having a panic attack. He briefly spoke with Katie, telling her, “I love you and I’m sorry,” before being re-intubated.
After his health worsened, Jon started to get better, and was even taken off a ventilator this past Tuesday. “The doctor I’d spoken to said, ‘We’re going to be able to wake your husband up in two days,’” Katie recalls the conversation she had with his doctor that night. “And they started talking to me about recovery.”
Hours later, Jon went into cardiac arrest and died. While Katie may be confused about where it all went wrong with her husband’s health, there’s no confusion regarding how Jon felt about her.
“Katie you are the most beautiful caring nurturing person I’ve ever met,” his note continued. “You are truly one of a kind...make sure you live life with happiness and that same passion that made me fall in love with you. Seeing you be the best mom to the kids is the greatest thing I’ve ever experienced.”
A GoFundMe has been started to support Coelho's family.