[Read about this story from the perspective of Jacqui, the patient, here.]
Jacqui and I speak daily, sometimes more than once a day. When she told me she had a fever, we considered the possibility it was COVID-19. When she lost her sense of smell, we knew she had contracted the virus. She self-quarantined because that was the protocol du jure. By the time the cough emerged, her fever was extremely high, and Jacqui and I were both concerned. Thankfully she called her PCP, who told her to immediately call 9-1-1.
When Jacqui called me from the hospital, it was quite clear she was hallucinating. She was convinced there was a conspiracy to have her committed to the psychiatric ward. The nurse ordered a psychiatric consult. While we were talking, the psychiatrist walked in. Jacqui’s last words to me were, “I’ll call you after the doctor leaves.” I went to work and checked my phone several times… no text, no call. My heart sank. I was unable to reach her. I instinctively knew she was on a ventilator.
It was another 24 hours before I heard anything. I had no information about Jacqui’s condition and no way to contact her. That silence was almost deafening.
The day before Jacqui went to the hospital, I told my prayer partners about her symptoms, and we immediately began to pray for her. As her situation deteriorated, the Lord Jesus guided our prayer time and assured us He was with her in this.
I was so grateful when Carolyn [Jacqui’s sister] texted me!! She had somehow gotten my number. She told me Jacqui had been intubated. (Such mixed emotions flooded me; she’s alive, they’ve stabilized her, but how long will she be on the ventilator?)
Carolyn tirelessly kept me informed of Jacqui’s condition at every turn. I asked Carolyn to let Jacqui know that I loved her and was praying for her on their next FaceTime [video chat]. She graciously said she would, and though I couldn’t tell Jacqui myself, I was so comforted that she could.