A week after Jon Coelho entered a Connecticut hospital in late March to be treated for COVID-19, doctors determined they needed to intubate him. One week later, they tried to take him off the ventilator, but "he was breathing way, way, way too hard," wife Katie Coelho tells BuzzFeed. "They FaceTimed me, and he just said, 'I love you and I'm sorry,' and then they had to re-intubate him." He subsequently dealt with a high fever and failing kidneys, but then doctors say he began to improve to the point where he was finally taken off the ventilator on Tuesday. But late that night, "out of nowhere, his heart just started freaking out," Coelho says. She rushed to the hospital but her 32-year-old husband had died of cardiac arrest. His last words, however, were still to come.
As a distraught Katie retrieved Jon's phone, from which she hoped to pull photos, she found a typed note. "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," Jon had written. "It makes me so proud to be your husband and the father to Braedyn and Penny," 2 years and 10 months old, respectively. The note, with special messages for each of his kids and directions for Katie to love again, had been written a day before Jon was first intubated, per People. "He made you feel so loved," Katie tells BuzzFeed. While she feels "like a part of me died," she's thankful to have heard from Jon, mostly for her children's sake. "I have that note to say, 'Your dad was really sick and fighting for his life, but he wanted you to know how much he loved you,'" Katie says. More than $210,000 has been raised for the family on GoFundMe as of this writing. (Read more coronavirus stories.)