Dad writes note to wife and kids before dying of virus
A Connecticut father who was battling the coronavirus wrote a letter to his wife and children telling them how much he loved them and how lucky he was to have them in his life.
Jonathan Coelho, 32, wrote the note the day before doctors at a hospital in Danbury intubated him and weeks before his April 22 death from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.
His wife, Katie Coelho, stumbled upon the letter when she opened up her husband's phone shortly after he died.
"I love you guys with all my heart and you’ve given me the best life I could have ever asked for," Jonathan wrote to his family, according to a Facebook post Katie shared.
"I am so lucky it makes me so proud to be your husband and the father to Braedyn and Penny. 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. Seeing you be the best mom to the kids is the greatest thing I’ve ever experienced."
Jonathan then addressed his children, son Braedyn, 2, and daughter Penelope, 10 months.
"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," the letter read. "Let Penelope know she’s a princess and can have whatever she wants in life. I’m so lucky."
Jonathan, a state employee for over 10 years, began experiencing breathing issues on March 26, Katie wrote in a Facebook post. She said that in the week prior to his feeling ill the family had isolated at home because Braedyn, who born with several medical complexities including cerebral palsy, was considered high-risk.
"We took the proper precautions, proper handwashing, social distancing etc. But it still infected my family," she wrote.
In addition to trouble breathing, she said Jonathan had terrible headaches that would not go away, was lethargic, had stomach pain and lost his sense of taste and smell.
Katie said just walking a short distance to the bathroom made Jonathan cough and struggle to catch his breath.
"It then worsened that he would be laying in bed and he felt as if something was constricting his throat," she wrote. Jonathan was then admitted to the hospital.
In several Facebook posts, Katie gave updates on her husband's condition. On March 31, she wrote that he had been intubated and later placed on a ventilator and sedated. On April 12, she wrote that he had kidney failure and needed dialysis.
Jonathan's condition then started to improve slightly. "He’s responding slowly to dialysis but his kidneys are not starting to work again," Katie wrote in an April 18 post. "I believe in my heart Jonathan is going to come home. Our story is not over, but I’m tired of this roller coaster life we’ve been living."
Jut four days later, he died after going into cardiac arrest.
"He had been doing significantly better the last few days and we were given a very optimistic prognosis," Katie wrote the day of his death. "The nurse told me she has no idea what happened and why."
An obituary for Jonathan said he always greeted everyone with a smile and was an avid fan of the New England Patriots. On Sundays, he loved watching the games in matching jerseys with his children.
Katie said she doesn't know what life will look like without Jonathan.
"The pain we are feeling is indescribable, our everything was stolen from us. My heart is not even broken it’s shattered," she wrote on Facebook.