Amid the chaos, the ER doctor pulled me aside and said, “We gotta do this,” and he gave me a hug that said, “I know what you’re feeling. I’m with you.” It was the same doctor who examined me two days earlier (I was also diagnosed with COVID) and broke protocol by allowing me to visit with Jasmine. Those five hours spent with her that day were painful because she could not speak with the BiPAP covering her mouth and nose, and the hospital staff wanted her to remain motionless to keep her oxygen level stable. It was heart-wrenching to realize that she was in that condition 24/7. I did not know at the time that it would be the last extended period that we’d spend together.

The Critical Care EMTs stabilized her and transported her to a larger hospital. There they catheterized her heart and discovered that her arteries were clear, but COVID had spread from her lungs and infected her heart. In a grim tone, the cardiologist asserted, “Your wife is very, very sick.” They intubated her and transferred her to the ICU where she was placed in a medically induced coma to prevent her from suffering physical discomfort or emotional distress. This difficult journey would continue for the next four weeks.

Stop and Consider: Given a choice, we would all choose comfort over a crisis. But we do not always have that choice. No one invites a crisis, but everyone can expect it at some point in their lifetime. You do not have to look for it; it will find you. When it does occur, how will you respond? What do you depend on for strength and support?

(Part 3: Our Journey Like the Road to Hana)