Husband and wife teachers in Georgia both contracted the coronavirus — and one of them is now on life support, according to NBC affiliate WXIA.
Priscella Key and Patrick Key both teach in Cobb County public schools and tested positive a week ago. Priscella Key told WXIA that she is recovering at home, but Patrick Key, 52, is on a ventilator in the intensive care unit at a hospital in Marietta, Georgia.
Patrick and Priscella Key.via WXIA
Key said that while her husband’s condition is stable, he is being sedated and is “far from out of the woods.”
She says the staff in the ICU has been helping them stay in contact on the occasions he’s awake by using video calls, and he’s been communicating with sign language and finger spelling.
“They have held the phone up and Facetimed me so that I can see and talk to him briefly a couple of times. Each time has been a gift,” Key told WXIA in an email.
“Yesterday, he was able to show me the ASL symbol for I love you.”
Key said her husband has been an elementary art school teacher in Cobb County for 23 years.
“Yesterday, a large group of teachers and their families came to our house to help take care of yard work that needed to be done,” Key told WXIA. “It took one more worry off of our plate. Patrick is a person that will do anything to help someone without ever asking for something in return.”
“He truly cares about people and it is so very heartwarming to see that people truly care about him,” she added. “He is doing his best to fight this awful virus. I look forward to the day that he is healthy and we can pay all of this love and kindness forward.”
According to an update posted to a GoFundMe page for the couple’s medical expenses, doctors briefly removed his ventilator on Tuesday, allowing him to breathe on his own for four hours.
“He is back on the ventilator now. The fact that he was able to go for that long is a very good sign!” wrote organizer Merry Mullins, a fellow Cobb County teacher.
According to the State of Georgia, there have been over 400,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the state since the start of the pandemic.
Tim Fitzsimons reports on LGBTQ news for NBC Out.