30 Days of PH: My Wife Is a ‘PHighter’ and Survived COVID-19

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by BNS Staff |

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Photo courtesy of Manny Cueva

Day 23 of 30

This is Manny Cueva’s (@M109er) story:

This month has me thinking about the seriousness of my wife’s pulmonary hypertension (PH) and her battle against COVID-19.

With Jen’s primary PH, we’d been hoping to avoid COVID-19. Even with all the protective measures we took, she contracted it.

I tried all I could to keep her at home, but life had different plans. I’ll never forget looking into her eyes on our way to the ER. The doctors all looked like NASA astronauts and I had to leave her in their hands with no options to be by her side.

The drive home was horrible! The weight of “what if” can’t be measured in words. I returned to an empty shell — our house lost all its meaning as “home” because my wife wasn’t with me.

For the next 18 days, no physical contact, no phone calls, no FaceTime. Nothing but silence. I’d call her, but no answer. The nurses told me she was so sick she’d have no idea her family was calling, praying, and missing her every second of every day.

While I also got COVID-19, I was more concerned about the silence, the empty bed, and the massive feeling of failure as a caregiver. In sickness and in health is a vow I take very seriously. I can’t describe the anxiety, anger, sleepless nights, asking higher powers: why her?

Music was my best friend at 3 am while looking at countless pictures of her until my eyes couldn’t cry any more tears. I couldn’t work, which made time go much slower and left me dwelling on the situation.

I’d tell God, “Take what you want from me but bring her back home.”

Finally, he did. On the 19th day, I heard her soft voice asking where I was and why I wasn’t there. It was a bittersweet moment. COVID-19 took me from her when she needed me by her side the most. I hope she knows I am always there with her.

Note: Jen Cueva writes the “Worth the PHight” column for Pulmonary Hypertension News.

Pulmonary Hypertension News’ 30 Days of PH campaign is publishing one story per day from someone who has been affected by the disease for PH Awareness Month in November. Read the full series for more stories like this, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram, using the hashtag #30DaysofPH.