OKC man in ICU with coronavirus loses wife of 51 years to the virus


OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Family members are remembering the life of 73-year-old Judy Owens after she lost her battle to COVID-19 while her husband is still hooked up to a ventilator.

“He’s out and hopefully he will pull through, but then he will find out his wife is gone,” Phil Owens said.

A more than 50-year marriage was torn apart by the spread of COVID-19 in Oklahoma.

“This could happen to anybody,” Owens said “It can happen to you.”

Seventy-three-year-old Judy Owens was in a coma for nearly two weeks, but Sunday the fight became too much.

Her kidneys failed and her family was forced to make the tough decision to take her off life support, leaving her nephew, Phil Owens, without a chance to say goodbye.

“You basically have to just drop them off at the curb and you can’t even go in with them,” Owens said. “It got on top of them really fast.”

Judy and her husband, Russell, became sick within hours of each other.

“They had a high fever and then just not mentally all there,” Owens said.

But Russell is still trying to hang on. The 75-year-old is at Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City, hooked up to a ventilator.

“Everyone one of those numbers people are seeing are people like my aunt and uncle,” Owens said.

The numbers are still climbing across the state. The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported 21 deaths in Oklahoma in the past two days.

“This is devastating news,” Gov. Kevin Stitt said. “My heart breaks for their families.”

“It’s easy to say this happens to other people or it’s overblown,” Owens said. “But it’s not.”

The metro family is left waiting in despair, hoping Russel defies the odds.

His daughters want people to remember Judy for her spirit and the way she laughed with Russell. They are asking people to please pay attention to the scientists and experts and to stay home.

“It’s always somebody that somebody loved,” Owens said.

Judy’s family is still unsure where she caught the virus. She was at the hospital two days before she started showing symptoms for an unrelated procedure.

Continued Coronavirus Coverage

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