Just a few short weeks after Sam Reck, 90, dressed in full PPE to say his final goodbyes to his wife, who had been diagnosed with COVID-19, he died from the same virus that took his wife’s life.
Sam was fully aware of the risk he took by visiting his wife, JoAnn, 86, but the thought of not being able to see her one last time was something he could not live with.
Prior to JoAnn’s diagnosis, the two would visit each other every day. JoAnn lived in the skilled nursing section of a Florida nursing home, and Sam lived in an apartment.
“Sam would go to her room each morning and would stay with her all day. Each night he would kiss her goodnight,” JoAnn’s son, Scott Hooper, told Fox 13.
Unfortunately, their in-person visits came to a halt when COVID-19 restrictions were put in place. This made it extremely difficult for JoAnn.
She had dementia and not being able to see familiar faces or interact with loved ones on a daily basis took its toll on her.
Mid-July she began feeling ill and she transported to a hospital where she was diagnosed with COVID-19.
As her condition continued to deteriorate, her family made the extremely difficult decision to put her on palliative care.
“It was the hardest decision, we ever made. We talked about it for a long time, but we decided to go to palliative care,” Hooper told ABC Action News.
Thankfully her family, including Sam, was allowed to visit her one last time.
Not long after, Sam was diagnosed with COVID-19. Scott asked him if he regretted taking the risk and visiting JoAnn.
“Not one second,” he said.
He died on August 1.
Rest in peace Sam and JoAnn. Together forever.