Tacoma nurse’s husband survives vicious COVID-19 battle, expected to go home this week

VIDEO: Nurse contracts COVID-19, accidentally infects husband

TACOMA, Wash. — A Tacoma nurse who said she tested positive for COVID-19 after being exposed at work, and later spread the virus to her husband, tells KIRO 7 he’s expected to be released from the hospital this week following a vicious fight for his life.

“He really is miracle,” Tammy Edwards, a nurse at MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital, said. “I believe the platelets and the Remdesivir he got were his saving grace.”

Edwards, who is still recovering herself from COVID-19 and currently off the job, said she tested positive early last month after experiencing flu-like symptoms that showed up in her husband Brian days later, only more severe.

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She said he was sent home quickly from the hospital on a first visit but was rushed back by ambulance days later when his symptoms worsened, causing him to struggle to breathe.

"I thought that that was going to be the last time I would see him because I really thought that he was not going to make it, and so I took a picture of him,” said Edwards, who shared images of her husband being taken to the hospital in a Facebook post that went viral. "I did give him a kiss on the cheek and said, ‘I love you. I’m sorry I can’t be with you.’”

Edwards said her husband was taken to MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital, where she works as a registered nurse, and was soon fighting for his life.

“They said, ‘We have to intubate him, he’s not going to make it if we don’t,’” said Edwards. “He was intubated and was on a ventilator fighting for his life for 11 days.”

During intubation, Edwards said she would speak to Brian by video chat, thanks to help from his nurses.

“The nurses were gracious enough to charge his phone every night and put the phone by his ear and I could talk to him,” said Edwards. “I would talk to him four, five hours a night until his phone died and encourage him to be strong and tell him that I loved him, and I believed in him and ‘don’t you dare leave me.’”

Eventually, Brian pulled through, according to Edwards, who said he was moved last week to a hospital in Puyallup to recover.

“It’s terrifying,” said Edwards. “It’s heartbreaking not being able to see your loved one; be with them, touch them, hold their hand.”

Edwards said she was tested again Tuesday and will need negative results for her husband to be able to return to their home. He’s expected to make a full recovery and be released from the hospital later this week, she said.

“My goal was to show people this is real,” said Edwards, who posted recovery updates online to thousands of people now following their story. “People all over the world private messaging me saying thank you -- they actually now believe it.”