In a heartbreaking interview on Friday, New York wife and mother Maura Lewinger described to CNN's Erin Burnett her husband's final moments as she said goodbye to him over Facetime before he passed away from COVID-19.
What are the details?
Maura's husband, Joe Lewinger, 42, was a beloved associate high school school principal and basketball coach, a devoted father of three, and a man with no preexisting conditions who passed away from the novel coronavirus without his family present due to the pandemic-induced restrictions against visitors in hospitals across the country.
"We had to get used to virtual caregiving and a virtual marriage,' Maura told Burnett, describing Joe's time in the hospital.
Despite many instances during the ongoing outbreak where loved ones are not allowed to communicate with their family members before they pass, Maura was able to say to goodbye to Joe over her cellphone via Facetime.
When Joe's condition deteriorated to the point that health care workers realized his time was near, they grabbed Joe's phone at Maura's prompting so that he wouldn't feel alone.
"I thanked him for being the most amazing husband and for making me feel cherished and loved," Maura said as she described their final moments to speak to one another and the way he treated her during their marriage. Before her last call with Joe ended, Maura recalled, the doctor told her, "I'm sorry, but there is no more pulse."
The interview left Burnett — justifiably — in tears, as Maura described how her and Joe's three children were handling their devastating loss, and how Joe's former students weighed in on how he impacted their lives.
Maura said she participated in the interview to urge Americans to take the threat of COVID-19 seriously and to make sure they protect their loved ones and children by practicing social distancing as the pandemic spreads.
Watch it in its entirety:
Widow describes emotional moment she lost her husband to Covid-19 www.youtube.com