“She is my bride and I miss her. I want to be able to see her when she’s better," said the distraught husband also suffering from COVID-19.
In the wake of medical institutions attempting to protect the public from COVID-19, otherwise known as coronavirus, families are being torn apart. Where some couples are being forced to stay away from each other, there are parents who have no choice but to be separated from their kids. And that held true for the Abernathy family of Georgia.
On March 14, Kyle and April Abernathy sat with each other, holding hands and soaking up as much time as they could together. This was a normal thing for the couple, but this time, it held a deeper meaning. This time, both were at the hospital after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
What had been thought to be a flu for Kyle and pneumonia for April were actually severe cases of coronavirus, according to a March 13 post on Facebook. And this diagnosis caused them to be separated from their two young children, eight-year-old daughter Amelia and six-year-old son Corban.
“We never traveled,” wrote Kyle, who works as the principal of Cave Spring Elementary School, according to People. “To us, ‘C’ virus wasn’t an option. We washed our hands. Trust me, I always tell my three at home to wash up!” However, no one is safe from the virus as it was proven in this family and it all started at the beginning of the month.
April’s sister, Amanda Hebert, explained that the couple had attended a church service at The Church at Liberty Square in Cartersville at the beginning of March, according to 11 Alive. It was after that that Kyle was the first to start feeling extremely sick which doctors at an ER had presumed to be the flu at first. When his symptoms didn't get better and he went back to the ER a week later, he tested negative for the flu. Meanwhile, April started to have a fever and things went downhill from there.
“Monday, she started coughing, Tuesday she went to the ER. Wednesday, she was on a ventilator. It was really fast,” said Amanda. “She just deteriorated really quickly, to the point she needed a ventilator by Wednesday afternoon.” And now, the young mother is doing her best to battle the virus as is her husband.
“She is critical but stable, requiring a ventilator and sedation. Her body needs strength,” he said. “She is my bride and I miss her. I want to be able to see her when she’s better.” As for his own health, “I am on oxygen now 24/7. I have a hard time breathing without it and get very winded moving around,” Kyle continued.
“I basically just lay down all day to keep from having breathing problems and coughing fits. I am on fluids and lots of meds.”
Then on March 15, Kyle updated his friends on Facebook saying that April had to be transferred to the Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. So he took the opportunity to spend as much time as he could with her. “I got to sit with my bride from 1-8 pm. It has taken a lot out of me,” he wrote. “[April] will receive specialized help to get through this nasty virus… I told her I needed her to pull through and to fight hard like she and I always have. Pray for strength in her lungs and continued organ function. Pray for a broken fever and for antibiotics to kill any infection that resides.”
As he begged her to survive this, he also prayed to have their family back together again — Kyle, April and their two kids, Amelia and Corban. “One day I’ll get to stand by my bride again. One day we will sing again. One day our family of four will be whole,” he added. "But until then, we surrender to everlasting peace 'til the storm passes by."
After April's transfer, her sister, Amanda set up a GoFundMe page to help the family manage the financial stress of medical bills. And at the time of this article, the page has raised over $14,500. While Kyle is recovering steadily, April was still “fighting for her life” at the hospital until a Facebook update on March 15 by user Beth Ann Cole mentioned that she was doing better.
She wrote: "NEW update on April Abernathy from her sister: Prayers are working!! He hears us! My mom just talked with April’s nurse at Emory, who will be with her today and tomorrow. Contrary to what we were told 24 hours ago, April is NOT on death’s doorstep. She is doing MUCH better than when she arrived last night. They were able to turn her oxygen back down to 70%, which is keeping her oxygen intake above 90. Thank you Jesus!"
"She does have fluid on her lungs but not a large amount. The diuretics are still handling this beautifully. April’s blood pressure, heart rate, labs and vitals all remain GOOD and STABLE. There isn’t even a sign of bacterial infection anymore. She does have a slight fever caused by the virus. I don’t know about you guys, but I will take that news and breathe a little easier. Thank you thank you thank you again for the love, support, and prayers. Continue to share her story. Continue to share the go fund me. Continue to pray for April and Kyle." And we will. "Let's continue to pour love into their lives," Amanda said on the fundraiser page.
We offer our prayers to the Abernathy family so that they can be whole once again.