Woman thanks deputy who helped her say goodbye to her father dying from COVID-19

VIDEO: Deputy helps woman get to dad dying from COVID-19

When 71-year-old Donald Wright got sick with COVID-19 in September, daughter Makiah Cox never imagined he wouldn’t recover. She said her dad was healthy, strong and loved to play pool.

“He still had so much life left. I didn’t think this would be the thing that would take him from us so soon,” Cox said.

He was put on a ventilator at Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup in early October. He tested negative for the disease three weeks ago, but his lungs were too far gone. On Friday, he lost his battle to the disease with his family by his side.

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“It meant everything,” Cox added. “I just wanted him to know we were all there and that I was there.”

Cox cherished her final few moments with him. But it almost didn’t happen. While driving from her home in Bremerton to the hospital, her car broke down off Portland Avenue in Tacoma. Cars passed, and no one stopped to help her. She felt helpless, but then a Pierce County sheriff’s deputy came to her rescue.

“I lost it. At that point, everything that had built up just came out,” Cox said.

He helped her jump-start her car and move it off the street.

“He told me he wished me well and that he hopes everything turned out how it should,” Cox added.

From there, her boyfriend’s brother picked her up and took her to the hospital, where she got to say her last goodbye to the man who stepped up and raised her as his own — a man who would have understood the significance of a simple act.

So she wrote a letter of thanks to the deputy, which read in part: “I felt like on a day that was so horrible for me he had the kindness and his heart to stop ...”

“I was always raised to never leave without showing my gratitude or to say thank you. He really made a difference in my day. He helped me get the place I needed to be,” Cox said.

Just as he’s inspired her in everything she’s done, Cox is sharing her dad’s story now to save lives.

“When my dad tested positive, he was one of those people who, ‘Oh, it’s not real; it’s not real.’ It definitely changed my perspective on everything. Thankfully, it did his, too. When I talked to him before he went on the ventilator, he apologized for not believing it,” Cox said.

Cox works in a nursing home. She also admits that she was naïve when it came to the virus because her nursing home hasn’t been hit. She said she thought the virus was political. But now she wants people to know it’s real and to wear a mask.