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My husband, Garrett S. Rudnicki, was a retired firefighter/EMT, after serving 20 years on the Department. Prior to that, he was a public servant for our community in Linden, New Jersey for 17 years at the City Municipal Garage. Garry was a vibrant, active, healthy 65 year old man prior to Covid-19. He worked a part-time job and took care of maintaining two homes. He was kind, friendly, helpful, and loving. Anyone who knew him, would agree. Always smiling. On Monday, November 9, 2020, he complained of shortness of breath; on Tuesday, November 10th he complained of a backache and stomach ache; his doctor examined him and recommended an ultra-sound of his stomach. On Wednesday, he worked his part time job, came home with a fever, and went to bed early, claiming he felt like he was coming down with a cold. Thursday, November 12th, he went for a Covid-19 test, the results of which did not come back until Monday, November 16th, but by then we suspected he had Covid-19 as his symptoms grew worse over the weekend. He was afraid to go to the hospital, for fear that he would not return. On Tuesday, November 17th, he was taken by ambulance to the hospital, as he fainted on me in the morning when he woke up. I watched as he was loaded into the ambulance, kissed him and told him everything would be okay and I’d see him in a few days when he came home. Next day, after speaking with him for a short time on the phone, one hour later, the hospital called and said they needed to put him on a ventilator as his oxygen levels were dangerously low. For three weeks, his condition deteriorated daily, from a bacterial infection, fungal infection, and then sepsis. 3 weeks after he was hospitalized, he died on December 8, 2020. Our only daughter and I could not visit him; we could only facetime him when the nurses had time to help us; we had to say goodbye to him through glass doors in the hospital’s ICU. Covid-19 stole my amazing, wonderful husband from me, and it also stripped me of the ability to be there for him at a time when he most needed my support and comfort. It is a loss that I will never recover from; a loss that is so deep.; a loss that was so unnecessary.

Karen Rudnicki, New Jersey  

Man smiling