Woman farewells husband, 42, over FaceTime before his COVID-19 death

A woman has recounted how she said goodbye to her husband over Facetime before the 42-year-old died of coronavirus.

Maura Lewinger met her husband, Joe, in college and the two of them lived on Long Island, in the US state of New York.

He was an assistant principal at a Catholic school and the coach of the basketball team.

Joe died last weekend after he was diagnosed with the coronavirus. Ms Lewinger was unable to be at her husband’s side and had to say goodbye over FaceTime.

Maura Lewinger appeared on CNN to talk about how she had to say goodbye to her husband over Facetime as he died of COVID-19. Source: CNN

Speaking to CNN’s Erin Burnett, Ms Lewinger reduced the news anchor to tears.

Joe started experiencing mild symptoms around St Patrick’s Day earlier in March, he then developed a severe fever and began to have difficulty breathing.

Ms Lewinger said he was originally denied the testing because he was not “symptomatic enough”.

He had no known pre-exisiting health conditions, CNN reported.

During the early stages of his hospital admission, Ms Lewinger was on the phone to her husband constantly, trying to support and calm him.

Ms Lewinger pleaded with doctors to allow her to FaceTime him, which they permitted. She then begged her husband not to leave behind her and their children – a son and two daughters.

She said she sat in her backyard, listening to their wedding song over and over again, then the doctors called her back.

The doctors said there was nothing else they could do to save Joe and they allowed her to FaceTime her husband for the last time.

“I thanked him for being the most amazing husband, for making me feel cherished and loved every single day,” Ms Lewinger told CNN.

“I played our wedding song for him. And then that was it.”

Originally the couple decided not to make Joe’s diagnosis public, but while he was still alive, Ms Lewinger did.

Ms Lewinger played her husband their wedding song in his final moments. Source: CNN

She told CNN her motivation for doing so was because people were not taking it seriously.

“I said, ‘people are not listening, people are not taking this serious enough’,” Ms Lewinger said.

Long Island is just across the harbour from Manhattan. The whole state of New York is reeling from the coronavirus outbreak.

New York City is the United State’s epicentre for the disease, where more than 2600 people have died of COVID-19 in the city alone.

Across the state of New York there have been a further 427 coronavirus deaths.

The US now has more confirmed cases of COVID-19 than any other country with 312,146, according to Johns Hopkins data.

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