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A woman is sharing a note she found on her husband’s phone after tragically losing him to complications from COVID-19.
Last month, Katie Coelho’s husband Jonathan was admitted to Danbury Hospital in Danbury, Conn. after testing positive for the novel coronavirus. Due to hospital restrictions, Coelho and the couple’s two children were unable to visit him ,but received updates daily from the doctors and nurses who cared for him.
On April 22, Coelho received the devastating news that Jonathan went into cardiac arrest and died. According to a GoFundMe page set up to support the family, the 32-year-old had been in hospital for 28 days and spent a majority of that time on a ventilator in intensive care.
Following Jonathan’s passing, Coelho was permitted to visit her husband and was given his belongings, including his phone. It was that Coelho discovered a note written by Jonathan the day before he was intubated in the event he would never see his wife or children again.
With her permission, Coelho’s friend, Katie Slayton, shared a transcript of the note to the family’s GoFundMe account.
“I love you guys with all my heart and you’ve given me the best life I could have ever asked for, I am so lucky it makes me so proud to be your husband and the father to Braedyn and Penny,” the note began. “Katie you are the most beautiful caring nurturing person I’ve ever met.....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.”
The couple, who were married for seven years shared two children together, 2-year-old son Braedyn and 10-month-old daughter, Penelope (Penny). A Facebook page set up by the family called “Braedyn’s Journey” reveals the toddler was born with neurological issues that manifest as cerebral palsy. Coelho said being a father was one of Jonathan’s greatest joys.
“Seeing you be the best mom to the kids is the greatest thing I’ve ever experienced. Let Braedyn now he’s my best bud and I’m proud to be his father and for all the amazing things he’s done and continues to do,” Jonathan’s note continued. “Let Penelope know she’s a princess and can have whatever she wants in life. I’m so lucky.”
In a statement to TODAY, Coelho said the letter was an example of the kind of man Jonathan was, and how much he treasured his family. Jonathan, who worked for the State of Connecticut, was the sole provider for the family and a dedicated partner to his wife of seven years.
“I want people to remember how much Jonathan loved us; how much he felt blessed to have the life he had,” Coelho said. “How much he fought to be with us, and to make sure we knew how much he cared about us. I want people to remember this is what true love looks like, that in a time of such pain and suffering that true love is possible.”
Finding the note means “everything” to Coelho, who said she will one day share the note with her children. Not only will the letter help them deal with the “unimaginable loss” but Coelho hopes it will show them how much their father loved and thought of them.
“It means that I will always have a reminder in my lowest moments of how truly my husband loved me. It’s also a sad reminder that I will live my life missing that love, that my husband feared he wouldn’t come home,” she continued. “The note contains his final words, his final ‘I love you’ and that’s something I am both so grateful for but haunted by.”