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Nebraska husband keeps journal during wife’s COVID-19 coma

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- A woman unconscious since August is fighting COVID-19 from her hospital bed. Her husband, alone at home keeps a journal during her battle with the virus.

In 40 years of marriage, the longest Ron Riddle has ever been away from his wife Patty is five days. But now, it's been 24 days since Patty's been home.

Ron said he took his wife to the hospital on Aug. 29, and since then Patt has kept getting sick.

"They did a CAT scan, and the doctor stuck his head in the door and said, 'I got bad new.'"

Patty's lungs were full of COVID, Ron and his family only recently started visiting after she produced two negative tests. But she is still heavily sedated, leaving Ron at home with the dogs since the kids are moved out.

"I said dad,... email mom, message mom, or text mom, or journal mom. I think that would help you feel like you're talking to her, but also my mom is not going to believe this," suggested the couple's son, Brad Riddle.

It started with a diagnosis, then finding an open bed in Lincoln. She's taken remdisivir, convalescent plasma and has even been attached to a ventilator.

Ron wrote Patty had a heart episode Sept. 3.

"And I wanna know what's going on in my moms mind. There were 12 seconds where her heart stopped. I called my dad last night and asked, 'where did mom go? Was she there?" said Brad.

In Patty update day 24, Ron said, "My baby girl is looking pretty rough. She would hate for anyone to see her like this. They're going to give her a feeding tube tomorrow and a Trache on Thursday...She's a fighter, let her fight!"

One of Ron's most recent visits offered a promising sign.

"I had to come home. And I just leaned over to her and said hey babe I gotta go. I love you I'll see you tomorrow, and she didn't open her eyes. But she turned her head for the first time that I since I've been there. I think she knows I'm there," said Ron.

The family isn't sure exactly where Patty contracted the virus, they believe it happened on the campus of their church and maybe even at the food pantry where she volunteers.

You can read Ron's updates on Patty on his church's Facebook page, the Parkway Church of God.

NBC News

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