PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The first day of December saw another record number of COVID-19 deaths in Oregon, adding to the growing number of families grieving lost loved ones this year.
One Oregon man whose wife died in the early days of the pandemic shared his story of profound loss and a message he hopes people will take to heart.
Brian Alexander described his late wife Mary Kay Alexander as a giving, loving person. He said she was already dealing with a cough from bronchitis when she fell very ill in mid-March. One day while she was resting, Brian noticed her lips were blue and she wasn’t breathing. He called 911.
Brian performed CPR with the help of the 911 operator until paramedics arrived. Mary Kay was rushed to a hospital where she passed away.
A few days after her death, Brian said he got a call from the Lane County health department. His wife had tested positive for COVID-19. Brian said he also tested positive for the disease after his wife’s death and has since recovered.
Brian said he’s spent the past eight months trying to adjust to life without his wife of 22 years. He hopes by sharing his story, others will take the pandemic seriously.
“It’s out there, it’s real. You may get sick and you may not and if you get sick you may get hospitalized or you may just die from it. Nobody can know how your body is going to respond to this virus,” he said. “So it behooves us all to be very careful and do what we can not to infect ourselves, our loved ones, or just other people in the world.”