80 days on a ventilator: Oklahoma woman dies from COVID-19 complications after 3-month fight

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MIDWEST CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – A 64-year-old Midwest City woman died on Christmas Eve from COVID-19 complications with her husband by her side after being in a coma for three months. 

Kathy Cronemiller first tested positive for COVID-19 in early October, but her family told KFOR they couldn’t find her the proper care in Oklahoma.

The closest open COVID bed was 200 miles away in Fort Worth, Texas. 

On Tuesday afternoon, the Cronemillers spoke to KFOR after their final trip back to Oklahoma.

“It was hell,” Lynn Cronemiller said. “I hate to say that, but it was. Nobody needs to go through something like that.”

For Kathy, the damage from COVID-19 became irreversible. For the past three months, her husband of 40 years, Lynn, has been by her side hoping for a miracle. 

“You finally think you are getting somewhere, and then all of a sudden, you are further behind again,” Lynn Cronemiller said. “I had it in the back of my mind from day 1, when we said our goodbyes, that we wouldn’t ever see her alive in that condition again.”

One complication turned into a dozen complications. Kathy’s lungs collapsed, blood clots formed in her legs, and she remained on a ventilator for three months. 

“We put up a good fight, a real good fight,” Lynn Cronemiller said. 

On Christmas Eve, Kathy went into cardiac arrest, and Lynn says he was forced to let go inside a Fort Worth hospital. 

“I am glad she is in a better place,” Lynn Cronemiller said. “The last memory I have of her with my daughters and everybody, real good memories, is her talking to us and telling us she loved us through the window and she spelling out ‘I love you’ with her hands.”

The Cronemillers are still waiting for Kathy’s body to be transferred back to Oklahoma where she will be buried. 

Her viewing is set for New Year’s Day. 

If you would like to donate to the family, click here. 

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