This article is dedicated to all those loved ones lost during the COVID-19 pandemic. You will never be forgotten.
Love conquers all, but can it help someone fight harder to live in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic? Can the emotional connection to your loved one play a significant role in healing? These true love stories from couples caught in the trenches of this terrible virus and how it brought them closer together will inspire you.
JESUS AND DIANA Clifton, NJ
Jesus, originally from Mexico, and Diana, from Peru, fell in love and were living the life they had always dreamed of—traveling, working out, and spending time with their daughter, Christine, and her girlfriend, Kirsti. It seemed that nothing could disrupt the life they’d built. Kirsti and Christine were just planning out their second world trip, until that is, the unexpected struck.
Initially, the family was more concerned about Diana being susceptible to the virus given her high-risk status following a stroke, so they were blindsided when, the week of March 21st, Jesus started to feel ill with fevers, cough, and chills. After testing positive for COVID-19, his health rapidly declined and the doctor placed him in a medically induced coma and put him on a ventilator. This was extremely upsetting for Diana who hadn’t been apart from her “Cielo” (her heaven) in 28 years. She was also heartbroken by the death of her mother, Julia, who was also admitted to the hospital and later passed away from COVID-19. Even with so much sorrow, she was determined to stay connected to her love.
Knowing that comatose patients can still hear others around them, Diana asked the nurses to Facetime her so she and her daughter could speak to Jesus. Although her heart ached for him, she knew she needed to stay strong and reassure him to keep fighting.
Diana would tell him, “We love you and miss you. You’re going to get stronger and beat this, and there are people all over the world who are rooting for you.”
After 21 days in the hospital, Jesus’ health started to improve, setting him on his journey to recovery. One of the first things the couple did when he was released from the hospital was cuddle for hours. They often took naps together. They also made time for date nights with and without the kids. It was a miracle of love that brought him home. Diana has her “Mi Cielo” back.
Jesus is not quite fully recovered, but he’s getting better each day.
ARTHUR AND TANIA Carteret, NJ
After 10 years of marriage, Arthur and Tania Campbell renewed their wedding vows in February of 2020 in Las Vegas. It was a special moment of their lives that they will remember forever. Although their work schedules could be hectic, they always made time for date nights, long walks, biking (3x a week during the summer), and sightseeing. They felt that spending time together was very important to a healthy relationship.
Both Arthur and Tania have dedicated their lives to medicine, and when the pandemic hit, Arthur worked on the COVID floors of a busy New York City hospital. In the beginning of April, he suddenly started to feel ill with chills and flu-like symptoms. He immediately slept in the second bedroom out of fear of exposing his love to what may be the virus that took so many lives.
After he tested positive for the virus, both he and Tania agreed he would stay in the basement until he was cleared to return back to the main part of the house. Luckily, his symptoms weren’t as severe as those of others, but the couple took the necessary precautions anyway.
During this time, they would have dinner “together” on separate floors of the house by videoconferencing. Arthur would even send texts to Tania while she was cooking saying, “Dinner smells so good!” Date nights consisted of texting each other to make each other smile and meeting up on Zoom.
Those were the moments that kept their love growing through this terrible situation, says Arthur. “Being in the basement made me miss my wife. It’s one of those things I want to remind myself about so I know what’s important in our love,” he explains. “It was a scary and isolating feeling but what helped me fight to get better was the love of my wife and family.”
Arthur is fully recovered and is enjoying his time with this love, Tania.
TRENT AND IRISH Tallahassee, FL
Trent and Irish Porter, owners and founders of the Florida-based Avail Health and Behavioral Solutions, have had their share of battles with health and other issues. When they first met, Trent was living in his car, and Irish had just finished college, but once they became a couple, their lives flourished.
After years of battling heart disease and diabetes, Trent, an avid cook, finally had a lifesaving heart and kidney transplant. Weeks after returning home from the hospital, however, his wife and son, Caleb, started to feel ill. Trent was suffering from respiratory issues, lethargic, and was unable to walk.
Irish then sprung into action and immediately had Trent admitted back into the hospital where he was put on a ventilator. She was heartbroken that after all he’d been through, this could be the thing that sent him to his death. She resolved to put it in God’s hands and focus on her faith and love for him to stay sane for the sake of the family.
While in the hospital, the couple stayed connected by holding daily prayers led by their son via Facetime. They told each other they loved one another, and Trent would remind them that he was “doing this for them.”
Despite the odds against him, Trent began to win the fight. Doctors may have called it a miracle, but Trent knew how badly he wanted to win the battle. The faith in his Lord and love for his family were the things that inspired him to fight harder. The love Irish and Trent shared helped them overcome obstacles in their past—he wasn’t going to let this illness stop them from loving and living triumphantly.
Trent has recovered well and is enjoying his time home with his
Love Is a Catalyst to Healing
According to Suzanne Orlando, a licensed mental health professional in New Jersey, “it is absolutely possible that love can motivate someone to fight harder to live.” She points out studies of NICU babies, which show the more human touch they have and the more they are held, the higher the probability that they will thrive. “This goes for all humans.”
“We often hear about people with terminal illnesses or elderly loved ones who hang on long enough to say their last goodbyes to those rushing to see them,” she adds. Time after time, we learn the stories of individuals battling cancer who turn their focus on hope, love, and connection to help them heal. “When we are connected emotionally through love, human connection, and compassion, we are more likely to fight and to see the value in pushing past pain—be it physical or emotional—to continue on with those we love,” Suzanne says.
Rarely do we get to see examples of physical healing that defies science, but these stories show us that love can heal anything. There are no limits, regardless of what doctors say. We like to believe that love conquers all.
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