A heartbreaking image of an Atlanta elderly couple shows them holding hands while in the hospital, just days before they died after catching coronavirus at their long-term care facility.
Eddie Johnson Jr. passed away on April 5 and his wife, Blanche Johnson, died on April 8.
The Johnsons had caught coronavirus while living at Arbor Terrace at Cascade in Atlanta, Georgia.
Daughter Jennifer McWhorter told Fox 5: ‘They were struggling. They both developed pneumonia. They both had that cough and could hardly breathe and they talked about the pain.’
She shared a final picture of her parents together, before they passed away at the hospital.
In the picture, a surgical face mask-wearing Eddie can be seen lovingly holding Blanche’s hand as he sits by her bedside. Blanche appears to be wearing an oxygen mask.
McWhorter told the news station that she was in self-quarantine because she was unaware that her father had caught coronavirus when she picked him up to take him to the hospital the week prior.
She also said that she was upset about the lack of a response from Arbor Terrace at Cascade.
‘No one called. Until I had to call them and tell them, “you ought to be ashamed of yourself.” All of sudden, I’ve gotten two or three calls today,’ she told Fox 5.
Health officials told Fox 5 that 48 of the 61 of the facility’s residents have tested positive – nearly four out of five residents.
The Johnsons were reported to be among the 10 per cent of the residents at Arbor Terrace at Cascade who have died.
The news station reported that 15 of the long-term care facility’s staff members have tested positive for coronavirus.
‘We have to assume that it’s most likely caretakers that are transmitting the virus to the residents, so we’re trying to make sure that all caretakers are tested,’ Fulton County Interim Board of Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Ford said.
McWhorter said that she believes that there was a lack of proper care and protective gear at the facility.
The facility told Fox 5 that that they have asked its residents to quarantine in their apartments and that they are in ‘regular communication’ with them.
‘We have maintained communication with our local health department and they assure us we are taking all the appropriate measures,’ the facility said. ‘We also have supplies of protective equipment, which includes masks, goggles and gloves. We will continue to monitor our supplies and stay in communication with our suppliers and staff to meet their needs.’
The facility also noted that professional cleaners have sanitized ‘all common areas in the building’ using an EPA-approved disinfectant. They said that they are continuing to ‘focus on sanitizing and cleaning throughout the building.’
McWhorter said her family plans to have a graveside funeral for her parents next week.
On March 29, retired educator Ernestine Miles Mann, 84, died after catching coronavirus at Arbor Terrace at Cascade, where she lived.
The CDC had cut off family members’ visits to the facility around March 12, Mann’s daughter told Fox 5. They were able to celebrate her birthday through a distant window visit at the end of March, however.
Later that night, Mann was taken to the hospital where she battled her COVID-19 complications for four days, before dying.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Maxine Shen