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My father passed away from Covid-19 on September 1st. On Thursday, August 6th, my mom, my sister, and I got a text that he had checked himself into the hospital. I managed to call his room and talk to him, but I got a phone call the next morning that he had been placed on a ventilator. My dad had COPD so once he was on the ventilator it was doing all of his breathing for him and after 3 really hard weeks and no improvement, there was nothing to be done and we had to take him off. He had a five percent chance of surviving a tracheotomy, which they couldn’t perform because he was not testing negative for Covid-19 after 3 weeks. I am grateful to the hospital staff who let my sister and I go in and hold his hand and say goodbye. But you don’t think that you’re going to lose your dad at 25 years old. And I get so sad and angry when I think about all of the things he’s not going to be there for—like weddings and grandkids and celebrations. I miss him so much and while I’m thankful that’s he not in pain anymore, I just wish he was here.

Jacquelyn Michelle Pileckas, Virginia 

Family photo with newborn