(CNN) — Two young children will grow up with a parting note from their father who died of COVID-19 this week.
Jonathan Coelho, from Connecticut, was an otherwise healthy 32-year-old. But, his body succumbed to the novel coronavirus.
“He would start coughing, but, when he was coughing, he couldn’t breath in between it,” says his wife Katie Coelho.
She says, back in late March, her husband Jonathan went to the hospital, only to sadly never make it out.
“It went from I don’t feel really good, to okay, this is kind of scary, to my husband’s life. He was fighting for his life within four or five days,” says Katie.
The 32-year-old, healthy, father of two took precautions because, as a probation officer, he was worried about getting sick and passing it on to his kids – 10-month-old Penelope and two-and-half-year-old Braedyn – who has cerebral palsy and is at high risk.
But Katie says that’s exactly what happened with Jonathan getting in contact at work with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
She continues to say, “My kids are going to grow up without a dad because of this.”
She says he was hospitalized for nearly a month, at times very sick.
But, as recently as Tuesday, Katie says he was breathing better with hopes he would soon come home in the future.
That night, their son sent him a video.
“He had made a video that said Dad is my best friend, so they were showing it to my husband, and my husband went into cardiac arrest, and he coded and they couldn’t revive him,” says Katie.
That morning, Katie says she opened Jonathan’s phone to save some pictures.
That’s when she found a note he wrote on his message app to her and the kids right before he was put on the ventilator for the first time.
“It’s a way to be like Daddy was very sick and Daddy was very scared, but he wanted you guys to know how much he loved you,” says Katie.
In it, he tells his wife and kids how he loves them and that they gave him the best life he could have ever asked for.
“I was just sharing it more because I lost somebody I loved, and I wanted people to know because I feel so guilty that I wasn’t there with him,” Katie says.
The message reads:
“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.”
As for his little boy …
“Let Braedyn know 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.”
And daddy’s little girl …
“Let Penelope know she’s a princess and can have whatever she wants in life.”
Katie says, “I’m going to be able to show them, look at how much your dad loved us and look how much everyone else saw your dad loved you. And, your dad, your dad didn’t want this to happen. He wanted to be here, so it’ll be good that I have at least that little extra piece to share with them.”
A GOFUNDME page is collecting donations for the family.
If you would like to help, search for ‘COVID-19 Relief for the Coelho Family’ at GOFUNDME-DOT-COM.
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