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Steve checked into Blake Hospital in Bradenton, Florida on Nov 19, 2020 for wound debridement and closure surgery. He was Covid Tested on Nov 17 and it was negative.  Surgery appeared to have gone well, but he started having complications (DVTs, heart problems, and lung issues). On Dec 1, 2020 for some reason they tested Steve for Covid and he tested positive. The hospital stated it was community acquired, but I tested twice Dec 2 nd and Dec 10 th and my tests were negative. So, I knew he contracted it in the hospital. Being in Florida, Blake Hospital did not routinely covid test their employees, only if they had symptoms. They still aren’t requiring vaccinations.

I’m very upset that after all the fighting he/we did to battle CRC, he succumbed to COVID that he contracted at Blake Hospital 13 days into his hospitalization.  We were wearing mask, social distancing, not partaking in gatherings, not eating inside restaurants, not going to movies, and not having gathering of friends at the house.  We had sanitizer everywhere as well as alcohol wipes.  Instacart shopped for us.  Yet, despite all we did, he contracted covid. 

It infuriates me all the STUPID people (there’s no other word for them) that believe Covid isn’t real or not that serious.  I’m mad that because of someone at Blake (an employee or visitor) and their  irresponsible behavior Steve became infected and died, making me a widow and Erica fatherless.  Steve received remdesivir and dexamethasone, in the Covid Unit at Blake, but he was denied monoclonal antibodies since it was a clinical trial and cancer was an exclusion. You might say well he had cancer and he’s been battling it for some time.  That’s true, but the bottomline is that cancer was not ravaging his body, he but Covid did just that to his lungs.  The fact is that if Steve didn’t contract Covid he might still be here.

Steve passed away on Dec. 20, 2020 leaving me and our 30 years old daughter alone. Steve was a dear heart, with the patience of a saint, that was a given, since he was married to me, a Jersey girl, for 40 years. He was the most ethical, moral, kind, smart, funny caring, spiritual man I’ve ever known. Truthfully, finding joy seems impossible. Perhaps when Covid cases and deaths decrease to single digits, or when my daughter and I feel safe venturing out and doing things we enjoy, we will find it again. I can only hope!

Cindy Johnson (Florida)

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