Throughout the pandemic, Anderson Cooper has maintained his composure as he’s reported on daily news and given updates on the coronavirus, but that tough exterior cracked when he spoke to Katie Coelho, whose husband died from complications caused by COVID-19.
The widow joined the newscaster on his CNN show Anderson Cooper 360 on Friday to remember her husband Jonathan Coelho and to urge people to take all the necessary precautions so they can avoid the “indescribable” pain she is now going through. “My husband should not have died Wednesday morning,” she said. “But he did.”
According to Katie, John didn’t “fall under any” of the categories that could’ve made him an at-risk individual. She said he was a healthy 32-year-old man and their family was doing the most to limit exposure to germs. The only thing that made him more susceptible to contracting the virus was his role as a probation officer, which made him an essential employee.
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Katie said that although he was “feeling scared and not wanting to go” to work, he was unable to do so.
In March 25, Jonathan tested positive for the virus and was admitted to the hospitals the next day after experiencing a variety of symptoms. A few days later, he had to be intubated.
He eventually died on April 22. Of the 28 days he was in the hospital, 20 were spent on a ventilator.
The morning he died, Katie was unable to make it to the hospital in time, but she shared the emotional letter he wrote to her and their two children, one of whom has what CNN described as “several medical complexities, in the days before his passing. And though it will never replace the final moments she lost with him, he died knowing she’d read these words: “I love you guys with all my heart and you’ve given me the best life I could have ever asked for.”
Anderson struggled to hold back tears, which prompted Katie to say, “It’s okay. Jonathan was good with words, huh?”
She and Anderson also discussed their two young children, Braedyn, 2, who suffers from “several medical complexities,” and Penelope, 10 months.
“They don’t know that they lost the greatest human being and they’ll only know their dad through pictures and videos,” Katie cried.
Anderson, whose father died during open-heart surgery at the ago of 50, responded, “The only thing I’m going to tell you is they will know him through you and the love you have for him, they will feel like they know him because I know you will tell stories about him as they grow up and for the rest of their lives.”
Katie and her two children are now self-isolating in their home as they too have been diagnosed with the coronavirus. She said her “only comfort” right now are the “memories” she has of her husband.
For the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic and for tips on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, please visit The Center for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov.